guess what? our child has proven the doctor wrong— i’m still pregnant! we’re ready, the house is ready, my body is ready, but he’s not ready. i think he wants to surprise us at any given moment. hopefully it will be a drawn-out surprise and not a quick one! his official due date is tomorrow. maybe we should buy one of those “over the hill” or “happy 40th” balloons to encourage him.
michael and i are very excited along with our friends and family but honestly there are moments where i have felt extremely irritated. fielding the same questions over and over, every day (how are you feeling? when are you due again? what did the doctor say? do you feel different from yesterday? are you having contractions? is the baby here yet?) annoy me! i know that these inquiries come out of care or curiosity toward the end, and it’s comforting to have a good network. at the same time i just want everyone to be calm and let us relax.
the weather was overcast during the week and i took advantage of it by wearing skirts and breezy peasant blouses. i packed some short sleeve onesies and a red elf cap for him to sport home. i kind of hope he’ll be born on a rainy day but they are few and far between. he’ll be born on a special day nonetheless. here’s to life, changing forever.
the baby’s cooking! tomorrow will bring me a week closer to our official due date. my doctor still predicts an early appearance, so we’re on baby watch. i haven’t had any labor pains (maybe they’ve been too mild to notice) but she gave me permission to hightail it to the hospital when i feel consistent contractions. we’re nervous and excited; michael is probably more nervous because he’ll be the one rushing home from work to pick me up!
we had a busy week. on saturday we attended a car seat safety class and learned that we chose wisely with our britax system. the instructors helped us install the seat in my car. on the way home i kept looking back at it and michael said, “he’s not there yet, silly!”
on sunday i assembled our mamaRoo and breeze playard, both gifts from the 4moms team. let me tell you— they were incredibly easy to put together, so easy a pregnant woman at nine months can do it! i understand why jen and indiana love their breezes. we also bought more newborn diapers; they smell so nice. i think we’re ready for this boy. i hope we see his face sometime soon!
this week was very relaxing with a few tiny hiccups. the baby’s nursery is almost done except for the twin/guest bed. the headboard won’t connect to the frame, and the mattress needs wooden slats. so we’ll be making a trip to lowes for different hardware and wood. i was hoping to share some photos of his room with you today— c’est la vie!
on saturday and sunday we went swimming. i was more nervous about getting in and out of the water than putting on a bathing suit; i’m not embarrassed to wear a two-piece with a big belly (though i did receive a questionable look or two). the water wasn’t too cold and we had a lot of fun swimming with super noodles. it amazes me how noodles keep people afloat. i wish we had gone to the pool more often this summer.
maybe it was all that swimming— i had a check-up today and the doctor thinks the baby will be here in a week and a half (or less). A WEEK AND A HALF! she told me to look out for contractions or water breaking. oh my goodness. we are extremely excited and nervous. my hospital bag is ready to go and i promise it’s not half-full of gummy bears (i wish it was).
in other news, i haven’t dreamt much lately. a couple of weeks ago i had a dream i left my purse in the rain, and last night the carters asked me to illustrate them. of course i said yes. who turns down beyoncé?
although diaper bags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, the majority tend to be black nylon. why black and why nylon? black is a popular clothing color and nylon is easy to clean. unfortunately black is not one of my favorite colors.
for our little one, i plan to use my rebecca minkoff original MAB bag with a polka dot pocket insert. it’s a huge red leather bag that’s been sitting in my closet for the last two years, and now it will get a second life as a baby bag. i recommend buying an insert if you have a large purse (or if you’re like me, you own several of them). you can pull the insert out and switch bags with no problem.
if you don’t have a giant handbag, a plus to buying a “real” diaper bag is that it comes with built-in compartments. check out these four darling options— i love these bags because they are wonderful for mamas who like prints and colors. to the undiscerning eye, they resemble regular purses. i won’t tell anyone you have a nose frida inside yours if you won’t tell anyone i have one in mine.
rebecca minkoff marissa bag: this cute tote flips to a blue and yellow pattern on the back, making it a perfect present for mamas who will be surprised by baby’s gender. if i didn’t reuse my own purse, i’d get this one in a heartbeat.
kate spade francis bag: put a bird on it! the toucans give the purse a whimsical touch. the print reminds me of a fun beach bag and it would also work for boys and girls.
timi & leslie charlie bag: the charlie style resembles a posh italian handbag, and it’s totally wipeable. i like the blue and grey combination; it comes in other colors, too.
lesportsac zoo bag: the little animals may garner as many oohs and aaahs as your baby! the navy blue color and messenger bag style also anchor it as a good “daddy” bag.
collage by me. images via nordstrom, shopbop, and amazon.
the next month will be a waiting game! many doctors consider 37 weeks a “safe” time for a baby’s arrival; of course reaching full-term is preferred. i had a check-up today and he’s not ready to say hello yet. grow, baby, grow! the doctor was concerned about his fast heartbeat and they hooked me up to a non-stress test monitor (which probably made my heart go crazy). but he was just moving around and his heartbeat slowed down as he calmed down.
we took a childbirth class at the hospital. i expected it to be a lamaze kind of class, but the nurse thoroughly covered labor, relaxation and pain management techniques, delivery, and postpartum care. we watched five families’ birth stories and i realized that everyone’s experience is astonishingly different. sometimes you go in with a birth plan and it can fly out the window; sometimes everything happens just as you imagined. i learned that the most important thing about labor is meeting your little one in the safest manner for both of you, but his or her needs always come first.
today a huge box arrived at our house with a car seat and stroller. i’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for michael to get home and unpack them. we bought the britax travel system; it had good reviews and several coworkers recommended britax. i also found out jesse (of jesse coulter and austin moms blog) has the same system for her son turner, so if turner approves, our boy will be just fine. our wishlist continues to dwindle, and baby’s room is almost done. here’s to the last few weeks!
p.s. thanks to all of you who shared kind words or advice last week. i appreciate you ladies!
common things i hear at this stage are “it’s almost time!” “the baby’s ready!” “soon you will be a mom!” and it takes all my willpower not to shake my head furiously like a child in denial. i am increasingly anxious and on occasion, scared out of my mind. we have a childbirth class later in the week that will hopefully calm my nerves.
the third trimester has brought a sense of hyper-awareness. i pay close attention to his movements and with my skin issues i am realizing how much my body has changed. i walk slowly and quite often sophie impatiently pulls me home. the belly grows along with my waistline and legs. i feel self-conscious and innocent comments like “you’ve gotten big since the last time i saw you!” and “are you hungry?” sting in a way they didn’t before.
i remind myself that every day and week is different. yes, some weeks i’ve felt happy and glowing. other weeks i’ve felt tired and down. some days i’ve felt beautiful and other days anything but. all these emotions are part of being pregnant, being a mom, and being a human.
i know deep in my heart that none of this will matter once we see his tiny face and wrinkly hands. oh, i cannot wait to look at you, but be a good boy and keep on baking.
some of my favorite summertime fruits and vegetables are bite-size tomatoes, pretty pink watermelons, blueberries, and sweet corn. all together they’d make a strange salad, but luckily today’s recipe only uses two of them.
i call this side dish stoplight salad because it includes the colors red, yellow, and green. it’s an easy yet elegant salad that pairs well with anything from grilled eggplant or steak to fried chicken. plus you can assemble it in less than five minutes if you use thawed frozen corn!
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
4 ears of sweet corn, cleaned and lightly blanched
1/4 of a sweet or red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
1/2 cup of feta cheese
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
substitute 3 cups of thawed frozen corn instead of fresh corn.
blanche the ears of corn for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. allow them to cool completely before shaving the kernels off with a sharp knife.
in a bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes, onion, and basil. add a splash of olive oil and balsamic for a quick dressing. season with salt and pepper.
michael and i had an “early” baby shower in may; friends and family typically fête the happy couple closer to their due date. our may shower allowed my coworkers to attend because teachers don’t always see each other in the summer (two words: it’s vacay). i felt weird asking people for presents so we created a basic wishlist (diapers, wipes, onesies, bottles, swaddles, etc.) and guests could choose from the list or share their own gifts.
we received many helpful and fun presents, some of which inspired my shopping picks for today. all of these items are under $30 at the nordstrom anniversary sale, and i think they would please any experienced or expecting mama out there. scoop them up soon because i may not be able to talk myself out of buying another cute blanket!
stem baby cardigan: this cozy sweater would look great on a boy or girl. i like the oversized buttons and the “elf” style hood. on sale for $25.
stem baby triangle blanket: oh my. this blanket would be perfect in our little boy’s camp-themed room. the orange, turquoise, and grey stand out as a cheerful yet gender neutral color combo. on sale for $30.
tiny toms: toms shoes get even cuter as they get smaller. these crochet lace ones would be lovely on a little girl. on sale for $30.
wooden porcupine: i worked at a children’s toy store in college, and we sold tons of wooden toys. they’re durable and families tend to use them for years and hand them down to younger siblings. on sale for $17.
baby age blocks: it’s popular for moms to document their babies’ ages with stickers or patches. these wooden blocks are a cute alternative! on sale for $26.
this week has been a whirlwind. michael and i toured the hospital on sunday and we saw tiny twins in the nursery! the nurses put them in the same bed and they snuggled together. the sight of them was very heartwarming. we took a breastfeeding class on monday evening; michael was a good sport because he met me after work and the instructor didn’t dismiss us until 9:30. today i had a check-up. our little boy is very active with a strong heartbeat.
i’ve been scratching my shoulders and legs at night. my doctor said pregnant women tend to be generally itchy but the office will run a test to make sure it isn’t anything serious. the hot weather doesn’t help either; i feel like i am perpetually frozen from the air conditioning or sweaty from the outdoors. for some strange reason i’m into jeans and tees lately. they’re fine for the mornings but terrible for the afternoons!
have you seen little knitty things? it’s an etsy shop by melanie (of une vie géniale, she used to blog at idée géniale). i bought the baby a red bedford cap and a brown bear cap. she also makes pom pom and tassel garlands. if you’re a mama, mama-to-be, or cute stuff lover, check out her collection!
ahhh! seven more weeks to go! i’m feeling good this week. there are few things that several days of rest and homemade hot compresses can’t fix. on friday the french lost but i wasn’t sour for too long. michael built the crib and painted like a wonderful husband. i also ordered arrow decals for the baby’s room; i hope they look as good as i imagine!
in other baby news i’m sewing wall hangings for his room and figuring out where to store books and toys (wooden wall shelves, maybe). i hope that he grows up and loves his room because we’ve put our hearts in it! it’s slowly coming together, and i’ll share more soon.
we had dinner at arcade midtown kitchen awhile ago. the restaurant is home to a quirky zoltar machine similar to the one in the 1980’s movie, big. we didn’t visit for zoltar— the food was delicious— but as soon as we arrived home, i had to watch big. fast forward to sunday and i dreamt that we were at FAO schwarz and i could not find our baby. what a terrible dream! thanks a lot zoltar and tom hanks.
as a pregnant woman i often receive advice ranging from good to mediocre to—how can i say it politely— unsolicited. you are told what you should and shouldn’t eat, use, buy, do, etc. most people share advice in a friendly way, and i listen, discuss with my best friend (who’s expecting her second child), or ask my doctor. i still eat sushi and drink coffee. i just avoid the fish on the no-no list and add a ton of milk.
maybe i’m one of the lucky ones but no one has suggested what i should wear, thank goodness! i’ve learned that women’s bodies vary greatly in pregnancy; there is no default way of carrying your baby or dressing your bump. i’m 5’9” with a long torso and our baby boy is all in front. my personal style hasn’t changed at all besides having more elastic in my life.
here are some of my favorite items i’ve enjoyed wearing during this journey. you might like them, too, because only the jeans are “maternity”, believe it or not!
clovella top: i bought the vibrant blouse on sale before i began to show. it still covers my bump perfectly. i like wearing it with skinny jeans and sandals.
lush maxi dress: i picked up a few of these in different styles. they are super comfortable! the fabric is rayon, similar to my pricier rachel pally dresses.
snapdragon top: this is another peplum blouse but in silk. i have the floral version from anthropologie and a zig-zag version from LM’s sample sale. they look great with jeans and skirts.
maternity verdugo leggings: i’ll say it once and say it again: i love paige denim. they are absolutely the best kind of jeans. the maternity leggings have elastic at the sides to fit the bump.
drawstring skirts: buy them two or three sizes bigger and they’ll last through your pregnancy.
hello! i meant to blog more often last week but i pulled a muscle in my leg and limped around for a few days. the doctor instructed me to “take it easy” and so i did. sophie and i watched the world cup matches, read real simple, and organized materials for my substitute teacher. i also managed to snag two things from the lauren moffatt online sample sale!
in my last update i mentioned the baby had hiccups; i can feel his hiccups once or twice a day now. i’m a little alarmed that he moves around constantly; i think he recently discovered how to roll. his kicks hurt occasionally, but he’s been a good boy (i.e. i’m not yelping in the grocery store yet).
the other day i thought about my summer wardrobe and i missed wearing shorts. it’s not too late to buy a pair or two. i find myself craving things i couldn’t possibly wear, too, like high-waisted denim skirts (i want this one) or shift dresses (hard to pull off with a growing bump).
are you doing anything fun for fourth of july? i’ll be rooting for france, and michael will side with germany. we’ll probably build a crib and cook hot dogs. enjoy the holiday and and wear your american best. our team played so hard today; you’re my MVP tim howard!
whew! i can cross another week off our calendar. week 31 had its ups and downs. weepy moments occurred a couple of times during this journey but i was all out of sorts this week. i worried about a lot of random things like going into labor at home to being a good mom to living away from our families to typing up eight weeks of lesson plans. and then i worried more because i was worrying and ended up feeling more anxious.
if i’ve learned anything over the last seven months, it’s that everything i feel or experience isn’t unusual. sometimes pregnant women are super happy and other times you know better than to mess with one. sometimes we might cry over spilt popcorn, or like me yesterday, not being able to paint my toenails.
in other news, we’re planning to use cloth diapers so if you have any brands or advice to share, please do! we will use pampers when he is born and later on when he goes to daycare (unless his center allows the cloth kind). i never thought i would write about diapers on the blog but hey, there’s a first time for everything!
look, ma! we’ve made it to the thirties! i took the three hour glucose test last wednesday and i cannot tell you how glad i felt at the end! during the test i was tired, hungry, and nauseous all at once. ugh! but i wasn’t the only mama in the room; there were at least six of us doing the same thing. i’m happy to report that my results were normal.
we ordered our crib and i spent saturday cleaning and organizing the guest room. we store our winter coats and linens in that closet and i rearranged everything to make room for baby clothes and diapers and leave hanging space for guests. i couldn’t help but marvel at the size of newborn diapers. they are teeny tiny and smell like baby powder.
i got this crazy idea last week to paint thin arrows on the wall of his room— that didn’t get far. it is impossible to get a perfectly straight line. so i scrapped the project and i decided we’ll paint one of the walls dark blue. by “we’ll” i mean michael will paint and i will watch because we make a great team. :o)
“when i speak of home, i speak of the place where— in default of a better— those i love are gathered together; and if that place were a gypsy’s tent or a barn, i should call it by the same good name.”—charles dickens
i don’t usually say this, but i’m glad this particular week is almost over! on friday michael came to school and helped me pack up the classroom for the summer. i don’t know what i would have done without his help. towards the end of the day i felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and overcome with tears. it’s always difficult wrangling everything in the room into neat stacks and piles. it’s even harder with a little person inside of you and you’re constantly worrying if you’re overexerting yourself. fortunately we got everything squared away, and i dedicated the past few days to relaxing and more relaxing.
in other baby news, i failed the one hour glucose test by a few points, making a retake mandatory. i am kind of annoyed because i can’t eat before the next test and i hate getting my blood drawn! my score is also “normal” according to some offices but my doctor retests anyone who is a little (or a lot) over. after talking to friends and doing some research, i learned it isn’t unusual to fail the first test; about a quarter of women miss the cutoff score and find out they’re fine later. hopefully i’m fine, too.
i haven’t worn many maxi dresses during my pregnancy but now that it’s summer in texas (ridiculously hot), they’re on the top of my shopping list. i’m looking forward to a nice summer at home making crafts, blogging more often, and getting the house ready for our boy. i can’t wait to meet him!
oh my goodness. i almost forgot to post a journal entry— school is winding down and i just realized it’s wednesday (not tuesday). our little boy’s movements are stronger and more consistent; i think he moves around the whole day now! i had a doctor’s appointment on monday and i took the famous glucose test (it checks for gestational diabetes). i explained it to michael as “drinking orange soda and sitting around for an hour.”
we also got spoiled (big time) with a wonderful care package from the team at 4moms. they sent us one of their awesome breeze pack and plays, taking one item off our baby gear list! we plan on using it in different rooms of the house to keep an eye on him as he naps, and later when he gets bigger, as he rolls and plays!
i feel huge lately. tonight i tried on some of my favorite dresses and they would not zip up due to my belly and expanding rib cage. doh! i may just spend the summer in any sort of stretchy clothes eating watermelon.
it’s been awhile since i posted one of our meals— as if we’re not eating (i could eat several times a day). we filled the past two weeks with trusty suppers like thai curry and roasted chicken and light lunches like italian salads and soups. today’s recipe is one of our favorite real simple meals; i never thought of using sweet potatoes in a tex-mex dish until i found it.
the original recipe suggests dressing the tortillas with sour cream, but michael and i prefer (and loooooove) pico de gallo and sliced avocado. you can also serve the dish with regular salsa and it would be just as good. take my word for it— this isn’t our first rodeo with these yummy fajitas. enjoy!
1 1/2 pounds of tenderized skirt steak
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into triangles
hello there! i hope all of you had a happy memorial day. we spent most of the long weekend wrangling the baby’s room. his rug arrived on thursday and we found a dresser at pottery barn outlet on saturday. then i found a great headboard for a guest bed at pier 1 on a whim. i can’t believe our luck! we might have a “real” nursery by the end of the summer.
this week i fell asleep on the couch a few times. i’m getting things ready for the end of the school year and trying to prep materials for a sub during maternity leave. on top of that, kindergarteners are not easily convinced that they must go to first grade. they keep asking me, “but why?” and i reply, “next year i will have new friends!”
i had a cold for several days and sneezed constantly. fortunately the sneezes and the runny nose skipped town on saturday (maybe due to the massive amount of rain we got). i’ve been feeling better and the flowers in our yard look great, too. tomorrow marks the beginning of the third trimester. hooray!
as i write my recap of the last 26 weeks, the little one is poking my stomach! he wants a bit of attention, i suppose. at night he’s been calmer and i don’t wake up as often. i remembered one of my dreams from the week! i can only pray he’ll sleep well once he comes home this summer.
we’re slowly putting together his room. i wouldn’t call it “nursery building”; it’s more like nursery wrangling! we’ve got onesies, overalls, shirts, leggings, and diapers with no place to go. the poor little boy needs a dresser! hopefully the memorial day sales will bring us a nice piece of furniture.
speaking of furniture, we’ve chosen his crib! it’s modern, quirky, and simple. i’ll share pictures once we purchase and assemble it.
speaking of pictures, i kind of think i am a terrible pregnant lady for not taking bump photos every week. i only have two so far. my goal is to post more outfits because then we’ll record the bump, the clothes, and the shoes. three things are almost always better than one thing (except measles, mumps, and rubella).
happy belated lovely tuesday! our school hosted an event last night, and by the time i got home, cooked supper, and showered, i was ready to relax. i’m reading i am livia on my kindle and now i am two-thirds through the book.
over the past week my belly grew bigger! the secretaries in the office agreed. i feel like the little one doesn’t move around much during these growth spurts. he was relatively calm with a few reassuring kicks every hour. tonight he’s karate kid again.
at our recent baby shower, some of my coworkers bought us a cute baby bouncer and it arrived at the house this afternoon. we may assemble it but i have a strong suspicion that someone (or some pug) would immediately jump in it. i could be wrong. if i’m right, instagram will let you know.
oh my goodness. so much happened during the week! michael can feel the baby regularly; he’s getting stronger in the mornings and evenings. michael says it feels like a big hiccup. i’m told real “hiccups” will come along sooner or later.
today i had a regular check-up and the baby looked great! he laid with his legs crossed and his hands behind his back (totally maxin’ and relaxin’ actin’ all cool). he’s just the right size, not too small and not too big. he didn’t look as lean as last time; the doctor said he’ll put on lots of fat in the upcoming weeks!
this afternoon my coworkers threw us a baby shower. michael and i feel so blessed for all their gifts and words of encouragement. it’s funny when you don’t live near your family, other people will step up and become your adopted family. i feel that way about my school and blog friends.
speaking of blog friends, indiana put together this sweet list of mamas and mamas-to-be for mother’s day. i’m honored to be on her round-up. did you know that jessica (of what i wore) has a baby due this summer, too? it’s the year of blog babies!
vegetarian friends, guess what? i have a yummy summer lunch for you. i even used spinach pasta (call me popeye). it’s an easy pasta salad that took me less than thirty minutes to cook and pack for lunch.
one of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh vegetables. michael and i eat a lot of tomatoes and squash when the weather warms up. i love mixing vegetables with pasta. everything looks so pretty— but not so pretty that you can’t eat it!
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of fresh green peas
2 zucchinis, cut into strips with a peeler
1 cup of walnut nuggets
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
spinach tagliatelle pasta
crumbled goat cheese or fresh mozzarella
kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
omnivores: add grilled chicken for a heartier lunch.
cook the pasta for 8 to 9 minutes.
while the pasta water heats up, preheat a skillet to low-medium. warm a little bit of olive oil and add the walnuts. toast them until fragrant.
add the garlic, tomatoes, zucchini strips, and green peas. sauté until the vegetables are slightly tender.
drain the pasta under cool water and add to the skillet (it’s okay if the pasta is still damp).
stir the noodles into the vegetables. season with salt and pepper.
serve cool with goat cheese or fresh mozzarella on top.
our baby boy is still a trickster. he kicks me starting from the ride home from school— he’s like any little kid: “let’s go home, mama! let’s go!”— but gets sneaky for daddy. this morning he thumped my stomach a few times and michael managed to feel it once before he quieted down.
the other day indiana warned her readers about swollen feet. my feet aren’t swollen but they ache at the end of the day. i stand up most of the time at work and now i’m standing and carrying a tiny person. i bought some inserts for my sandals. if they don’t work, i might bring my minnetonkas and change into them midday.
michael and i weren’t planning to build a nursery right away but we recently sold the big bed in our guest room. now i’m brainstorming a room that functions as the baby’s room and a sleepaway— we want the space to be charming and modern enough for grown folks. i’ll keep you updated!
next week i’ll see my doctor for a check-up and our last scheduled sonogram. i hope we get more pictures of you, little boy blue!
i’ve been on a cosby show kick since the fall. i grew up watching the huxtable family and michael kindly put all the seasons on our netflix queue. i love that the huxtable girls (and theo) have great personalities with style to boot.
vanessa is one of my favorites because her style dramatically evolves as she gets older whereas denise holds onto her bohemian spirit and sondra prefers classics. in the earlier seasons, vanessa’s totally into matching sweatshirts, sweatpants, headbands, and sneakers. in season five, vanessa is the queen of complimentary colored layering. she wears collared shirts layered with jackets, sweaters, and pants in dark hues.
if vanessa went shopping today, she’d choose a good ol’ fashioned denim shirt and pair it with plaids and comfy flats. and don’t forget the earrings— i think vanessa and claudia kishi tie as best earring owners ever.