Category Archives: Pregnancy


Today is officially the longest I’ve ever been pregnant.

Yesterday marked 38w5d which was when Caleb was born! It was also Steve’s birthday so he was secretly hoping that Jenna would make her appearance, but I was feeling normal with no signs of any impending labor. Everyday he asks how I feel and when I reply with, “I feel ok…normal,” there’s always a glimmer of disappointment…lol.

His birthday started off with Caleb waking up at 5am. Usually, he will fall asleep when he comes to our bed, but not that day! After 1 1/2 hours, we all decided to just get up for good. Caleb said for Daddy’s birthday, he wanted to make him coffee so we went downstairs and he helped scoop the grounds into the french press and after I poured in the hot water, he helped push it down. I made breakfast for everyone and Steve was off to work.

Since Caleb woke up so early, I kept him home from school since I knew he was tired. With that said, that meant I had to bring him with me to my weekly appointment which included a cervical check. Thankfully, he sat behind me and was occupied with the iPhone. The visit was short and I’ve been dilating about 1cm/week since my 36w check up. At least there’s some sort of progress.

We went grocery shopping afterwards and when we returned home, the power was out! So, we had sandwiches for lunch and had a much needed nap. The power kicked back on and that’s when we got ready for Steve’s birthday. Caleb wanted to make a card so I got him some card stock, crayons and markers. He drew everyone’s faces (me, Steve, himself, Jenna…even all 3 dogs) and then wrote his name all by himself!! I must say I was really impressed at everything he did being 3.

Then, he helped me make paleo-friendly pineapple upside-down cupcakes. Steve had picked an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner and thankfully they were really open to me bringing the cupcakes in and even supplied extra plates. Steve was worried that they wouldn’t want outside food brought in, but it all worked out.

My mom arrived JUST in time for dinner with her dog, Bella, in tow. I had Steve take his mom and Caleb to the restaurant since we were meeting up with 7 other people so I could get my mom and her dog settled with our dogs. She’s got a 65 lb doberman puppy and my lil’ 12 lbs doxie-huahua mix schooled her! It’s so funny :)

Dinner was great! We’ve had Ethiopian a few times in TX and MD, but this was my favorite. The injera wasn’t overly sour and the food was really good. And Steve had a great time despite having a crappy day at work so that was nice. But, still no sign of baby! I think it’s better that they don’t share a birthday anyway.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful day so we’re off to do something outside!


38 weeks

Today, I’m 38 weeks! I take my usual weekly photo and thought back when I was pregnant with Caleb. My 38 week photo with him was the last weekly photo I took for that pregnancy! It was Presidents Day weekend and we went out for Thai food. The waitress looked at me and said, “that no good for baby!” Ha. My mom flew into town and came with me to my doc appointment. I had leftover Thai food for lunch as I worked from home and that’s when contractions started. I ended up being admitted to the hospital that night (it was a Wednesday) and had Caleb on Friday. Crazy!

So, we’ll see if Jenna is anything like her brother. We are planning on Thai food tomorrow :) But knowing her, she’ll throw me in for a curveball like with everything else in this pregnancy and stay put until 42 weeks!


weekly photo – 38 weeks

Caleb vs Jenna at 38 weeks

Caleb vs Jenna at 38 weeks

belly progression weeks 4-38

belly progression weeks 4-38

Caleb and I met up with Steve for lunch on Friday since he was driving down to Roanoke, VA, after work to run a marathon the next morning. So, it was just me and my lil’ guy thay night! We had a fro-yo date and I actually fed him dinner before 6pm (never could happen with Steve’s schedule). After a bath, we played, read stories and he fell asleep in seconds after hitting the pillow.

I ended up going to bed myself at 9:30pm and watched two movies in bed. I also crocheted my first granny square so I think I’ll be working on a granny square blanket since I have a bunch of leftover yard that aren’t enough to make a newborn hat, but might be perfect for more granny squares.

Steve came back from the race this afternoon right when Caleb and I were walking home from a trip to the playground on this gorgeous day. We’re having and early birthday dinner with some friends to celebrate Steve big 3-4 (his birthday is Thursday). Will he have a baby girl for his birthday? It’s all a waiting game now, but with all the kicking and craziness going on in my belly, she definitely wants out!




Full term

As of this past weekend, I am full term at 37 weeks!

We started off the day with another cherry blossom mini session :) This time, it took place in Besthesda in the Kenwood neighborhood where the streets are lined with cherry blossoms. There was rain this week so a lot of the blossoms were lost, but there were still a few trees still with their flowers. Hopefully the photos came out ok!

The weekend before was peak bloom at the Tidal Basin. We all got up before the sun was up to try and beat the traffic into DC since it was a weekend and the last day of the cherry blossom festival. Caleb was a big GRUMP so there had to be bribing with candy. We found free parking (woot) that was close to the Tidal Basin, but was just under a mile from the meeting spot with our first photographer. So, we basically had to BOOK IT.

After our photo session, I tried to take some photos during our walk back, but Steve wanted to get home and Caleb was tired so I didn’t take very many photos. But, I did take a few because we were there. And the scaffolding is finally gone from the Washington Monument so I needed a pic of that!

Steve & Caleb at the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, me & Caleb at the Jefferson Memorial

Steve & Caleb at the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, me & Caleb at the Jefferson Memorial

We got home and attempted to nap, but Caleb’s short nap in the car left him WIRED so no one got rest. I changed into a maternity dress for my baby shower hosted by my mother-in-law, Barbara, and Roxie! I must have pushed myself too much that morning at the Tidal Basin because my back completely gave out. I had to sit and if I tried to stand up and walk, shooting pains occurred in my lower back.

The shower was lovely! Jenna got a lot of gifts even though we told people we didn’t need gifts. And there was a lot of food. We are certainly very lucky and they always go above and beyond for us.

Steve stopped to buy me some Bengay patches for my lower back. They were a godsend and I felt SO much better the next day. Which was good because I was cooking an entire Passover spread that was paleo-friendly! I made Pioneer Woman’s brisket, roasted a chicken, roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, roasted butternut squash with sage, made chicken broth for the matzo ball soup with both traditional matzo balls and paleo one made from almond flour, and made Steve’s nana’s fruit salad. We also had gefilte fish, pickled herring and I made charoset. For dessert, I made a coconut cake with cream cheese frosting. Nom nom nom. I spent 4 1/2 hours straight on my feet in the kitchen.

Steve’s mom bought new haggadahs for us that had a lot of pictures so it made the Sedar easier to follow especially for Caleb. I couldn’t believe it was already Caleb’s 4th Sedar!

Caleb with his yarmulke, new kid-friendly Haggadahs, paleo matzo ball soup made with almond flour, Steve and our Sedar plate

Caleb with his yarmulke, new kid-friendly Haggadahs, paleo matzo ball soup made with almond flour, Steve and our Sedar plate

The next day, we went to the synagogue for their community Sedar. Steve’s mom helped cook for the 100+ people that showed up and poor thing did not get to sit down to eat a hot meal! I told her next year to sit out on the cooking and enjoy it. Caleb could not get enough matzo.

Then this past weekend was Easter! We went over to Crina and Mounir’s house for an Easter lunch and the kids did a small Easter egg hunt. Caleb was all over that! There was sooo much food and everyone ended up falling asleep (myself included) before dessert…lol.

When we got home, I got into nesting mode and decided to clean all the bathrooms with bleach and scrub everything on my hands and knees. Steve saw me and said, “this is why we hire someone!” Ah well. I feel better now that the bathrooms are clean. The next thing on my agenda is moving some of Caleb’s toys from the main family room down to the basement playroom so I can bring some more baby items up like the swing.

I already shampooed the carpets and have the bassinet set up in our room. I still need to pack the hospital bag, but I have a mental list of items I need to pack. Sometimes I feel like I have no time and that this baby could come next week (same gestation as Caleb) and other days, I feel like I have plenty of time and I should just do one thing a day. Argh!

Musings with only a few more weeks to go…

April 9, 2014. That was the due date for the baby we lost right before conceiving Jenna. The day came and went and I only spent a few minutes thinking about how things would have been different. According to the Chinese gender predictor (which has been correct 2/2 for me), the baby would have been a boy. His name probably would have been Colin. He’d most likely already be here since Caleb was an early baby. Then, I thought about the emotional rollercoaster of a week that was…finding out I was pregnant the day Steve’s father passed. The highs and lows and then super lows.

But, now here we are! I’m 36w along with a a healthy baby girl who moves all of the time to let me know she’s here! I can’t believe that next week, she’ll be full term. I have one more ultrasound next week to check my fluid levels and then I will start my weekly appointments. This pregnancy has just flown by!

These past few weeks, we’ve made good progress with Jenna’s nursery, but it still needs work. Steve helped me paint it and we finished in about 2 1/2 hours. I assembled the crib, changing table and dresser on my own (though Steve did help me for 5 minutes to hold things together for the crib). Half her closet is all set with her clothes all hung up, but the other half still has boxes that we never unpacked and some photography stuff so I have to go through those things.

I’ve been crocheting like crazy! I’ve made so many hats, bonnets, leg warmers, you name it! Just thinking ahead for her newborn photos. I also made her crib skirt and a pennant banner that hangs above her crib. I’ll probably eventually add her name to it. I have a painting I did back in 2010 that would match her room, but I have no idea where it is….probably hidden in the garage so I hope to find it soon. And I couldn’t find storage boxes that I liked for her changing table so I made my own fabric covered boxes…they fit all her cloth diapers perfectly!

new wall color, crib set up with pennant banner, quilt and crib skirt made by me :)

Caleb has been so sweet and is really excited to be a big brother. Everyday, he hugs and gives my belly a kiss. He tells Jenna that he loves her. When we go out shopping, he tells people that he’s a big brother. He wants to be involved in things that relate to Jenna. When I was putting the dresser together, he would help bring me pieces (which was a great help since I was sitting on my butt for 75% of the time screwing things together). He picked out her fuzzy pink rug and said, “I think Jenna will really like this!” And when we ask what he will do as a big brother, he always says that he will protect her from bad guys and cars (i.e. holding her hand in parking lots). And he also says he will help bring me diapers.

We met up with a co-worker and wife of Steve’s last week and they have a tiny 6 week old girl. Caleb was fascinated with her! He’d touch her feet and her hands, but was also very nervous, but he would stand by the car seat and just look at her in amazement. I kept telling him that Jenna was going to be that small, too :) I can’t wait to see how he interacts with Jenna.

Last week after a grocery trip, I was strapping Caleb into his car seat and while I was pulling his strap tight, I heard and felt my wrist pop. It was the strangest feeling and it was a little tender, but I didn’t think much of it and went on with my day. The next morning, I woke up at 5am in pain and ended up going to a walk-in clinic. The doc didn’t think it was a break–rather something with the tendons/ligaments so they wrapped me up with a split and put me in a sling. After talking with a few people, they were saying it was due to the pregnancy relaxin hormone that probably made things loose so it was one of those freak things. Oh the joys…I’ve had to do a lot of things with my left hand and some times, I need help! One time, Steve had to help pull my pants up…haha.

the hazards of being a mom

It’s been a week and it’s still tender, but it’s better. I don’t wrap it up anymore, but I have to be careful with certain things like when I turn on the car–the twisting motion still hurt. But, for the most part, I’m ok.

This morning, we went to a car seat clinic to check and make sure I had Caleb’s car seat correctly installed forward facing (made it almost 3 years and 2 months before we made the switch) and  to make sure Jenna’s bucket was good. They asked if I had installed or Steve and when I said I had, they were saying it was a good install *pats self on the back*. They took the car seats out just to check everything and had me re-install it. Then, they double checked and had me practice with a doll buckling up a newborn. One more thing to cross off the list!

Tomorrow, we have our first of two maternity sessions. I found two different photographers that were offering cherry blossom mini sessions so the one tomorrow is at the Tidal Basin in DC. The one next week is in a neighborhood in Bethesda that usually blooms a week later. I’m just looking for options :)

We also met with a birth photographer! She’s building her portfolio and I’m her first client so we’ll see how things go. I figured as long as we get some shots and family shots afterwards, I’ll be happy. I’m really looking forward to the photos of our reactions moments after Jenna arrives.

My mom called to try and figure out when to drive down and stay with us…sounds like she’s coming in about two weeks. With Caleb, I went into labor the day after she flew in so it maximized the four weeks she stayed with us. This time, she’s driving down since she’s bringing her dog so hopefully she can be here on time!

Other than that, things are going well. I’m nearing the end, but still feel pretty good! Every once in a while, I get the aches especially when I’ve been sitting down for too long, but other than that, I really can’t complain. I sleep fairly well and Jenna lets me sleep for the most part. The weather has finally warmed up so I’ve been hanging outside with Caleb more–lots of playground visits and a trip to the animal park! He had such a blast and it’s not too big of a place so I didn’t get sore walking around unlike the day we went to the zoo….oi!

pony rides, feeding animals and petting a bearded dragon named Buttercup

Tomorrow is my baby shower thrown by Roxie and my MIL! There was no talking her out of it so I’m just going to enjoy the day with friends and family. I didn’t make a formal registry other than a small list I kept on Amazon mostly for myself so I could get the 10% completion coupon (which I just got the other day!!!). A few people have asked what we needed and the honest answer has been NOTHING! We bought the crib mattress and dresser a few weeks ago which were really the only things that were “needed” since Caleb is still using those items. Everything else we have from the days of Caleb and we’ve been buying clothes and got hand-me-downs. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous and in the 80’s so I’ll be sporting a maternity dress I bought :)

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on here. The nesting kick is in full force so I’ve been cleaning and trying to catch up with laundry since we got home from our outing today. Hopefully, this momentum can keep up for the next couple of weeks! Because if Jenna’s anything like her brother, she might be here in 2 1/2 weeks *gulp*.

Counting down the weeks….

Caleb must be going through some sort of growth spurt because it doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed, he’s been waking up around 10am these days. Hey, I’ll take it! So, while he’s snoozing, I figured I’d update the good ol’ blog.

I’m 33 1/2 weeks now! The end is near and we’re hoping to FINALLY get working on the nursery. I’m hoping to paint it this week and get some furniture assembled. We went out this past weekend to buy a new dresser and crib mattress so our “big” purchases are done. The crib and changing table are still in pieces in Caleb’s closet so that’ll free up some space once we can get those out. Then, I can finally see how the bedding looks that I made for her! Next, I’ll have to figure out curtains (got 3 big windows to cover) and wall art.

belly progression weeks 4-33

Overall, I feel pretty good. Most nights, I can sleep through the night without getting up to pee, but I still have to sleep on my back because of my SPD. I have the head and foot of the bed raised (Steve calls it “sleeping like a pretzal”), but it’s the only way I can get comfortable. Most nights, he can fall asleep, but if he wakes up in the middle of the night, he usually goes to the guest room to sleep. Sometimes the SPD acts up if I overdo things, but it’s usually ok after I slap on the maternity belt.

So far, I’m up 17 lbs. I was reading up on my pregnancy with Caleb and I was up 35 lbs. by this point already! Even though I’ve gained half the weight, I still feel really heavy…moving slower, waddling, getting tired…grocery shopping takes a lot out of me! Thankfully, Caleb will sit in the cart (went through an anti-cart phase for a bit) and he helps me pick out fruits and veggies to put in the cart. He’s very much into being mommy’s little helper so I’m glad! I also have tell him my shopping list and have him recite it back to me just in case pregnancy brain sets in. Apparently, we always have to get ice cream according to him!

We went on the maternity ward tour a few weeks ago and the hospital is really nice! It’s also super busy (5k+ births a year? YIKES). They’re very pro-breastfeeding and don’t bathe the baby for at least 6-12 hours after birth. Very into skin-to-skin and family bonding time.

I’ve been doing more arts and crafts. Thanks to Pinterest, I learned how to crochet! I could never do it correctly, but the tutorial looked fairly simple so I decided to give it another go. When I went to buy a crochet hook and yard at Michael’s,  an older lady saw me staring at the yarn with my pregnant belly and asked if I was making something for my baby. I was clearly a newbie so she brought out some hooks and yard and gave me an impromptu lesson in the middle of the aisle. It helped watching someone do it because I made my blanket that night :) Since then, I’ve made another blanket and two additional mini blankets for newborn props. I had some leftover yarn so I also made a pennant banner. I’ve been on a roll!

Steve knitting, me crocheting

Steve wanted to learn how to crochet, too, so I told him I’d teach him. But, then he thought it’d always be a comparison so he went out on his own to buy knitting needles and pink yard so he could knit Jenna a hat :) He used to knit years ago and made me a scarf for Christmas one year so he’s trying to re-learn and pick it up again. How sweet! We spent the other night in bed like two old farts with him knitting and me crocheting as we watched TV…lol. I’m currently working on a big blanket for Caleb since he wanted one, too. We went to Joann’s and he picked out the colors he wanted so I’ve been slowing working on it. Goes by a lot slower when it’s twice the size!

I’ve been also working with felt. I had bought a bunch of wool blend felt from Etsy to make flowers for headbands and recently made a sweet felt food themed goodies for a friend’s 2 year old (magnetic cake with candles, donuts, cookies, macarons, cupcakes) and most recently onesies. Caleb asked for a dinosaur shirt so that’ll be next–can’t forget about my big boy!

felt food–all calorie-free :)

camera onesie for my baby girl

Speaking of my big boy, he hit a milestone at swim class yesterday–he can float independently on his back now! Whenever we did the “mommy and me” type classes, he would always want to bend his back whenever we tried to float him. Since starting classes with a swim instructor, he listens so much better to him than he ever did with us. Yesterday thanks to more snow, he was the only student in class so he got a 1:1 with his instructor and at one point, I saw the instructor with both hands in the air and Caleb on his back–proud parent moment! He did this several more times so he was able to get a ribbon, a bracelet and got his pic taken for the swim school FB page :)

Caleb and his ribbon/bracelet showing he can now float on his back!

Anyway, it’s 10:40am and the beast has finally awoken so more later!


Almost in the 3rd trimester…where has time gone?

I’ll be 26 weeks this weekend. And then I’ll be in the third trimester the following week. It’s scary how fast this pregnancy is flying by! I always remembered my pregnancy with Caleb dragging by and feeling like it was forever before he was here. But, I guess things are different when I’m chasing around a toddler and doing things like planning his 3rd birthday party :)

Things have been slowing down and I’ve been taking some time to do some crafty things which I have missed so much. I recently made my own lip balm which has been great since they always seem to be in short supply in this house. A few simple ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax along with some essential oils and you’ve got yourself some lip balm! I bought some lip balm tubes on Amazon and made several kinds, but my fav are the chocolate mint ones I made!

At 24 weeks, we made it to viability! It’s a milestone I’m glad we made…one little step at a time. I read in my pregnancy book that the youngest micro-preemie ever to survive was 21 weeks old. That is just so amazing!


24 weeks

I also treated myself to a hair cut. First one during the pregnancy! The overgrown a-line was kind of driving me nuts so I had the stylist even it all out. I actually think one side is longer than the other which kind of annoys me and it’s at an awkward length. I just hope it grows (come on, prenatals) and then I can get one more cut before Jenna makes her arrival.


belly kisses 20 weeks difference…Caleb grew 1 1/2″

Last week, we had two snow days so Steve got to stay home with us and play! Early on during the storm, we went sledding down a small hill in front of our house. Caleb has so much fun and apparently, so did Steve. It was his second time sledding EVER!


That night we roasted marshmallows in the fire place and made s’mores…nom nom! And speaking of food, I’ve been eating a second dinner or snacking before bed almost daily. Jenna must be going through a growth spurt because I nearly doubled my weight gain (4 lb gain to an 8 lb gain in 2 weeks). We have an ultrasound on Tuesday to check her growth since she’s a bit on the small side so I can’t wait to hear if she’s gotten any bigger!

Caleb and I are in MA at the moment–just in time for Chinese New Year! Originally, Steve had planned to fly to TX and help his mom pack up the last of her house and drive back to MD during the first weekend of February so I told my mom I’d come up with Caleb. Well, Steve ended up making that trip two weeks earlier during MLK weekend so I told my mom we’d still come up. It’d give Caleb a chance to see everyone for his 3rd birthday (a few weeks early) before Jenna makes her debut. At least Steve can watch the Super Bowl in peace even if the Patriots aren’t in it.

I made the drive up here with Caleb yesterday is pretty decent time despite not one, but two accidents with overturned vehicles (one SUV and 2 semi trucks). I was able to drive 6 1/2 hours straight before stopping for gas and a small dinner and then an hour later, Caleb told me he had to poop (best timing, I was 3/4 mile from a rest area) so that added some more time, but it took 8 1/2 hours total.

My mom has already taken Caleb to Toys R Us so Caleb could pick out his birthday present and also got Miss Jenna a few outfits and her first bathing suit! I could die from the cuteness.

Anyway, off to bed soon. Hope everyone is staying warm!

Sewing projects, anatomy scan and meeting a doula

During the week of Christmas/New Years, Steve had a modified schedule where he had a few days on and a day off so I took advantage of having him home and started some sewing projects! My plan has always been to make Jenna’s nursery bedding. Crib sheets, blankets, quilts, changing pad covers–all that stuff is easy. I don’t plan on using a bumper and I will probably reuse the crib skirt that I already have, but if not, I can always make one :)

I bought a new sewing machine as a gift to myself! It’s this one by Brother (I paid $120 for a warehouse box–never opened, but the box was a bit dented. Machine was fine!) mostly because it has more power, it’s computerized and it had a few extras like a quilting table and could do simple lettering. My current one was a Black Friday deal that Steve lovingly bought for me years ago and spray painted the cover pink because I told him I wanted a pink sewing machine. It’s been used plenty, but it can’t handle thick layers and broken needles have come flying at my EYES on more than one occasion.

Anyway, over the course of a week, I stayed up late on more than one occasion to sew three quilts, a big crib minky blanket, changing pad cover and crib sheet! The new sewing machine is awesome and it’s sooo much easier to thread the bobbin and it can handle multiple layers.

crib minky blanket

minky changing pad cover

My 1st quilt using a disappearing 9 quilt block pattern! The back of the quilt is the bird fabric with a bamboo batting.

So proud of my 1st quilt that I signed it. I hope she keeps it forever.

Crib sheet that I tested out on the only crib sized mattress we had in the house–Caleb’s bed!

Saw a jelly roll fabric pack at JoAnn’s so decided to pick it up and try my hand at a jelly roll jam quilt. Not perfect, but pretty! I put it together with bamboo batting and the back has a solid yellow fabric with pink and green chevron fabric.

Not pictured is another baby quilt, but it’s basically a smaller version of the minky blanket I made with quilted blocks of the same fabric. I’m hoping to start the nursery (painting, furniture assembly, etc.) by March, finish by April and be ready by May!

We had another snow day and Steve’s car got stuck for two days! He ended up taking my car one day to go take his GRE’s (yay for an SUV with AWD). It was sooo cold, but Caleb wanted to go play in the snow so I said ok. We made it an hour (well, I did, before I said it was time to go in). The snow was so powdery that it was hard to make a snowman so I shoveled a mound and called it a snow volcano…lol.

This week, I am 22 weeks along! I finally got to see Jenna kicking from the outside and took a video of it. She loves to party late, late at night and when I wake up. When I tell Caleb that Jenna is kicking me, he says, “Jenna, don’t kick Mommy. It’s not nice!”  He’s too funny :)

22 week update

I had my anatomy scan at 22 1/2 weeks. The actual ultrasound was done by the OB and he was very detailed in describing what we were looking at–it was really neat! Everything looked good: saw the heart’s 4 chambers, umbilical cord, no cleft lip, kidneys looked good, spine looked good. She is measuring a bit small–11th %tile. He said anything above 10th %tile is normal, but since she’s on the cusp, he wanted to do another ultrasound at my next appointment just to make sure she’s growing. She’s a lil’ peanut!

I asked him about my weight gain (or lack of, really). At this point, I’ve gained only 2 lbs. He said that my fluid levels were good and placenta was good so she’s growing and healthy–just to keep doing what I was doing and not to worry. It was reassuring to hear that! It’s just so funny how different pregnancies can be. By the time I was 23w with Caleb, I was already up 18 lbs!

I got two generic print outs. In Austin, we got a DVD with video, pics and lots of pics! Not that I’m complaining, but just interesting to see how different offices do things. I’m just glad I have a healthy baby.

Later that day, Caleb started his first parent-free, instructor led swim class. We had been going to one swim school for months, but it was a “mommy and me” type setting and I think he was bored. He couldn’t advance to the next level until he was 3 and potty trained. We told them he was already potty trained, but the age thing was the restriction and they seemed pretty strict about it. We tried out this swim school and the class he’s doing starts at 3, but they said he was close enough that he could try it. The limit the class to 4 students, but he just happened to be the only one there that night so he got a private 1 on 1 class. Steve and I sat across the pool and watched him–he warmed up very quickly to the instructor and did sooo well! Even the instructor said he took direction very well and will learn very quickly so we were super proud of our lil’ guy.

Today, Caleb and I met up with Steve for lunch before meeting with a potential doula. I didn’t have one with Caleb, but had been contemplating one with this lil’ one especially since I’m going to try and shoot for a med-free birth (crazy, I know). She seemed really nice and also includes birth photography on the side so that’s a plus! I’m going to meet with another doula and then decide.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on here! Tomorrow, we’re carpooling with friends to Harrisburg, PA, for a farm show and meeting up with other friends. Then, I have two newborn sessions. Never a dull moment here :)









Current Music: Bastille - Pompeii

Howdy from the half way point

Man, am I ever horrible at updating!

So, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m 20w3d along now. I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy flying by! With Caleb, I felt like the time between appointments always felt like forever and this one, it’s the total opposite. I’m enjoying my time in the second trimester now. I get to eat (and enjoy it), I don’t need a daily nap though I started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix so there have been many late nights.

Let’s see what’s been going on. Caleb and I flew over to Chicago and had a mini reunion with the Lisa and Angela (we were all Army wives with husbands stationed at Fort Hood, TX) to celebrate the first birthday of Lisa’s daughter, Caroline! It was an interesting challenge flying pregnant with a toddler while lugging a heavy Britax carseat with me, but it all worked out. We spent a week there catching up and relaxing–even got to see snow!

At the airport when flying back, I sat down at the gate and took off my wedding ring to lotion my hands (they were SOOO dry in Chicago). Caleb distracted me and before I knew it, they were calling people with kids to board. It wasn’t until we had landed and we were out for lunch with Steve that I realized that my ring was missing and that I had never put it back on after lotion my hands.

I was SO upset and I was sure the ring was lost forever. I looked up the lost and found for the airport and it said that if an item was left at the gate, to contact the airline. Well, Frontier only has a form that you can fill out and if you do not heat back in 30 days, they said to consider it permanently lost. I thought there must be a way to contact the airport directly so I called the Chicago police at the airport and after they asked me to describe the ring, SOMEONE HAD TURNED IT IN! I was so relieved and it restored my faith in humanity. Lisa was kind enough to go back to the airport to pick it up and mail it back to me–still in the police evidence bag.

We spent a week at home before I packed up again with Caleb in tow and drove to MA to photograph a wedding of a friend’s younger brother. Smecky was my sidekick and she did great! I also ran into some people from high school. What a small world. I got to meet my mom’s puppy, a doberman named Bella, who is already HUGE!

When I was 16 1/2 weeks along, we went in for an elective ultrasound with Steve’s mom and her mom’s cousin (who had never been to one) and we found out that Caleb was going to have a little sister! We were all ecstatic :) We even got to sneak a peak in 3D/4D which is a little creepy that early on, but it was still really neat. We watched her brush her cheeks with her hands and move all around. The tech said our baby was already “meaty” haha.

a profile view

sneak peak in 3D

The next day, I had my 16w appointment with my doc and she had been noticing weight loss and no gain. I had lost some weight during the 1st trimester since I had all day nausea, but I had been eating legit meals for a month now, but nothing was sticking. She was concerned and wanted me to return in two weeks to get weighed so I told Steve to make sure I got third and fourth helpings at Thanksgiving to pack on the weight.

Chanukah was early this year so I cooked a Thanksgiving-type meal on a smaller scale to celebrate and get a jump start on pigging out. We spent Thanksgiving day with friends and family. Steve’s older brother, Jeff, and his girlfriend came into town to spend the long weekend with us so that was nice.

On Black Friday, I went a little crazy shopping for a little girl. Lots of lil’ dresses, jumpers and rompers :) People were telling me not to buy so many things so that they could buy something…haha. I’ve bought two baby carriers (a ring sling made from the Natibaby dandelions wrap, and a mei tai made from the Hoppediz purple pune wrap), and a JuJuBe BFF diaper bag in a purple/pink begonia print. I also bought fabric to make the nursery bedding which should be fairly simple. For $90, I bought enough material to make 2 crib sheets, 2 changing pad covers, crib skirt, two bedding blankets and 2 stroller blankets.

I had won tickets in a lotto to the National Christmas Tree Lighting at the lawn of the White House, but Steve couldn’t come with us so I invited my friend, Kelly and her son, Patrick. It was a super crappy and rainy day so before leaving, Caleb and I made a stop at REI where I bought ourselves waterproof rain pants and I bought Caleb a raincoat and waterproof boots, especially since umbrellas weren’t allowed to be up during the performances.

We met at the metro station and took the train into DC. We walked a few blocks, went through security and found some seats. We bought plenty of snacks for the boys and they did great! They lasted an hour before it became too much with the rain, wind and cold so we left. We got to see the tree get lit, the Obama family, Train, and Aretha Franklin perform. We found a Starbucks for hot chocolate and to warm up before trekking back home.

Obama counting down the Christmas tree lighting with silly faces from Caleb

Train performing at the NCTL
Train performing

The Obama family

Aretha Franklin performing

The next day, we spent a long weekend at Great Wolf Lodge in VA with friends of ours who have an 8 year old son who Caleb just adores. Kelly and her family also met up with us that weekend. They had a blast! It was a bit chilly in the waterpark even though they say they keep it at 83*f. It didn’t stop Caleb despite shivering and getting purple lips. We’re definitely planning to return–maybe in the summer.

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When we returned to MD, there was snow on the ground. That night, it snowed even more so Steve got a snow day from work and Caleb got to build his first snowman (the previous winters never snowed this much). He also had fun throwing his first snowballs :) So, I let the boys have fun while I shoveled and salted the driveway.



I went back to the doc at 18 1/2 weeks to get weighed and finally gained some weight! I guess Thanksgiving and pigging out on vacation will do that to you :) So, we’re back to appointments every four weeks and I have my anatomy scan on January 7th.

Baby name! Steve and I had a lot of difficulty coming up with a name for our baby girl. We just could not agree on anything and it just felt like it was going to be a battle of the wills before one of us caved. Steve like Alexis, Alexa, Alexandra, Cara, Maya whereas I liked Emma, Ava, Brinley, Clementine and Journey. We FINALLY agreed on the name Jenna. It’s not in the top 200, but it’s not too far fetched or a name that people would really mispronounce or mispell. Her middle name will be Mackenzie after Steve’s dad who passed away this summer whose name was Kenneth. So, there you have it–Jenna Mackenzie! Caleb took to the name right away and will refer to the baby by name.

Little Miss Jenna is very active a night–kicking and moving. Caleb was always in-sync with my sleeping schedule and would be active during the day and sleep at night. This little girl is just the opposite! I just hope she sleeps at night once she’s out of the womb.

belly progression weeks 4-19

the half way point

That’s the news here from here :) I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! Steve is coming home from work and we still need to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Fun times!


Baby #2 Annoucement!

I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last blog update. The day we went apple picking was the day before I found out I was pregnant. I remember looking back at pictures and thinking that my boobs looked bigger and Steve agreed! Ha, men.

Anyway, here’s a more in-depth entry about what the heck has been going on for the past two months and this pregnancy! As you guys know, we had an early miscarriage during the beginning of August right after Steve’s dad passed. The week that Steve planned to go to Texas to help his mom go through some of his father’s items and figure out what to do with the house, I drove to MA with Caleb a few days earlier than planned. Since the pregnancy ended so early (I think I was only 4 1/2 weeks along), we decided not to wait and to try again right away.

Since I had been temping, my cycles were textbook–28 days and I always ovulated on day 14. Right after I returned home, I still hadn’t ovulated, but I did read that sometimes a miscarriage can change things. Steve had booked a B&B getaway at the Chesapeake Bay to kind of get away together while his mom watched Caleb for a weekend. Unfortunately, he started developing a rash on his face that just got progressively worse with the weekend. Later we figured out it was from gluten especially since he was doing so well on paleo and then just fell off the bandwagon with all the crap that had been going on.

Anyway, a week later, I finally ovulated and so from then on, it was just a waiting game. Steve didn’t want me to test early especially with the heartache we both endured from testing so early. I’m just so impatient so eight days later, I tested and got a super, duper faint pregnancy test. I was trying to decide if I should tell Steve or wait and see if the line would get darker as time progressed.

August was a crazy month. I went from pregnant, to not pregnant, back to being pregnant.

I decided to keep the test result to myself for the day and try and figure out a way to tell Steve. I saw on Pinterest that you could decorate mugs with Sharpies and bake them. So, I bought a huge soup mug from TJ Maxx and with a Sharpie, I wrote “You’re gonna need more coffee….for baby #2!”

I forgot why I was up, but it was to do some cooking (maybe for a potluck?), but Steve had gone to bed early so that’s when I started my project. I also decided to pee on a digital test to see if it would register yet and it did! So, my plan was to put the mug and pee stick by the Keurig since he always gets coffee in the morning and that’s how I would tell him. Well, at 1am, he woke up and decided to come down so I was scrambling to hide everything and get him back to bed…lol. I put everything back when I went upstairs for good, but Steve had trouble sleeping and ended up going downstairs AGAIN and seeing my present :)

Steve showing off his new mug

As the days passed, I peed on more sticks to see if the line would get darker. With the early miscarriage, the lines never got dark and after about four days, they were non-existent so it was reassuring to see the lines get progressively darker. I had 20 cheap Wondfos that I had gotten from Amazon so I didn’t feel bad about using 2 or 3 a day. After about two weeks, I stopped especially since the line was as dark as the control line.

Clearblue Easy with the conception indicator finally got FDA approval for the US so I bought a pack of two so I could watch the number go from 1-2 weeks to 2-3 weeks. Every little bit of reassurance helped!

test with indicator

I started taking my weekly pictures at week 4. Of course by then, there’s nothing but bloat so I figured I’d write a lil’ update to the baby as well so this has been my photo project for this pregnancy.


week 4

We told Caleb right away that he was going to be a big brother. I’m not exactly sure he knows what it means quite yet, but he knows that there’s a baby in my belly. He likes to lift my shirt and “knock knock” to talk to the baby. He also tells me that the baby is a girl and her name is “Sophie” and that he has a baby in his belly, too. He is a boy and his name is “Rice”…lol.

week 5

At about week 6, all day nausea hit with it being worse at night–no puking though. With Caleb, I didn’t have any of this so this was all new to me. I drank ginger tea and took b6 to help. I had no appetite and could only really stomach starchy foods so I ate a lot of bagels and chips. Sometimes chips would be my dinner. I also had zero energy. I had experienced fatigue with Caleb, but after an hour nap, I was good to go. With this pregnancy, I needed a 2-3 hour nap everyday (and still do at almost 13 weeks). I just feel sooooooo tired with this one.

week 6

week 7

Finally, the day of our first prenatal appointment came around and both Steve and I were a nervous wreck! But, when the doc said we were going to start things off with the ultrasound, I was happy because it would mean our weeks of waiting would be over and we would know if we had a viable pregnancy. As soon as the doc said, “everything looks good,” a HUGE relief came over us. We got to see and hear the heartbeat (156 bpm) and see our lil’ blob.

our baby blob!

week 8

As my week 8 update stated, according to my LMP, I was 8w3d, but I knew I ovulated late and the baby was measuring 7w5d. The doc still wants to stick with the due date based on my LMP so it is officially May 10, 2014, the day before Mother’s Day!

And at 8w, I started wearing maternity pants full time. Between the bloat and the bump, the rubberband trick and the belly band were not cutting it so I pulled out my old maternity pants and bought some clearanced ones from Target. Ahhh, sweet, sweet relief.

week 9

I rented a doppler at 9 1/2 weeks, but could not find the heartbeat. With Caleb, I found his at 8w5d so it made me a bit nervous. I tried not to think about the possibility of a missed miscarriage happening, but the thought lingered in the back of my mind each time I would try and not find anything.

A strange thing happened a few days later. Caleb and I were laying in bed together when he told me that the baby was gone. Gone? I asked where the baby went and he told me the baby was “working with Zeydie”. Zeydie is what he would call Steve’s dad. And Steve’s dad is not with us anymore. So, that statement really freaked me out especially when they say that little kids are really intuitive. Did I think my kid was a medium? No, but for him to say something like that out of the blue kind of caught me off guard. I told him the baby was in my belly and he replied with, “ohhh. I’m so silly.” I told Steve about what happened and he was saying that in a lot of the books that he’s read about the afterlife, that the spirits are often referred to as “working” so he was starting to worry.

THANKFULLY, a few days later, I finally found the heartbeat. This baby was on the right side of my belly whereas Caleb was always on my left. And it is stubborn! I can’t always find the heartbeat, but I have found it a few times. Steve was so happy to hear it and I recorded it so I could have a copy.

week 10

Around this time, the all day nausea started to subside which was AWESOME! We did a bit of traveling with a weekend trip to NYC to visit Steve’s brother, Jeff, and also a trip to Nashville to visit Steve’s cousin and attend a friend’s wedding. Let me tell you, sitting in a car for 12-14 hours straight is not comfortable, especially while pregnant!!

week 11

Two days before our scheduled NT scan, I got a call that Tricare was not going to cover the ultrasound. Out of pocket, it would have cost $3k soooooo, we decided to pass on it. I’m not sure why they covered it with Caleb–though technically we didn’t really get one because the stinker was measuring a week ahead and was too big to do the scan, but we still got a lot of pictures out of it. Ah well.

week 12

So, I went to my regularly scheduled 12 week appointment where the stubborn lil’ baby couldn’t be heard on the doppler so the doc did a quick ultrasound. Baby was moving all around and heart rate was 154 bpm. I didn’t get a picture, but I did snap a pic of the screen before leaving :) I had lost a few pounds during my first trimester and the doc noted that. She said as long as it didn’t continue, I should be ok. My appetite is slowly coming and I can stomach beef now so I think I’ll be making up for it later on.

12 week, 154 bpm

Pictures from the wedding of me in Nashville started surfacing on Facebook, particularly one of me looking pregnant so I told Steve that we had to take our announcement photo soon. I had plans to do it sooner, but with the fall foliage and wedding season, I’ve been SOOOO busy! So finally I told Steve that we had to do it one night after he came home from work before the sun set so I quickly set up my tripod and snapped a few photos. Caleb was very anxious because we were on the path to the playground so when we finished, Steve took Caleb to play for a few minutes while I edited and prepped the pic for the public.

official announcement!

I think that’s everything so far. It’s almost nap time–yipee! I really hope I get my second wind in second tri soon.

A year ago today…

…I got my first positive pregnancy test! I will spare you all a picture of my pee stick, but I was in denial for 2 days. No matter how many times I tested and the line showed up, I just could not believe it. It wasn’t until I got a digital test and saw the words “pregnant” that I finally started to accept the idea. It’s amazing how fast a year has gone by and now we have an (almost) 4 month old! So, happy anniversary to that! I’ll always remember it as the day I texted Steve “happy belated Father’s Day!” And him ignoring me because he thought I texted the wrong person…lol.

Anyway, since Steve is done with classes, he’s playing Mr. Mom and staying home with Caleb when I’m at work. A lady stopped by the pick up pretty much my entire freezer stash of breast milk today (252 oz exactly) which is another thing I got crossed off my list. I joined a group called “Eats on Feet” which is basically a neutral place where people with a surplus of milk can donate and people can request milk for their lil’ ones. Since we’re moving in 2 weeks, I didn’t think all that frozen milk would surive a drive to VA especially since we’re taking our time so I decided to make a post saying I had all this milk to donate. I received SO many requests, but I tried to be fair and go with first come, first serve and basically put everyone else on a waiting list in case someone fell through. I felt bad telling people that my milk had been claimed, but I’m def going to have another one before I leave–granted it won’t be as much, but I guess every bit counts.

Now onto another hot topic: Exersaucer or Jumperoo?

Exersaucer vs Jumperoo

To be honest, I think both are GREAT! Caleb is entertained by both for different reasons and has always liked being able to be upright. Since our future home has a living room on the main floor and a family room that leads to the back yard in the basement, I decided to also get a Jumperoo so he has a place to play no matter where we are w/o having to drag something up or down the stairs. Right now, he’s loving the Jumperoo. His lil’ feet are always kicking and jumping–it’s hilarious! We even have names for certain dances…one looks like one of those Russian dances where you alternate kicks and another where points his toes so I call that his ballet dancing.

a video of my tiny dancer

Tomorrow, we’re having our house surveyed by the packers to make sure we’re on target with our weight estimate. I also need to buckle down and plan a menu for my party this weekend at some point. Birthday parties are happy, but farewell parties are sad. My party is going to be one big contradiction apparently :oX