Monday, August 27, 2012

Why do the weekends go by so fast?

I had a mostly nice and relaxing weekend and didn't want it to end but then again, I will be in beautiful Italy next weekend so I guess starting the work week is not so bad.

On Saturday, J took my car over to his parents' to do an oil change and also fix the passenger side door lock which no longer responded to my remote lock. I should give KUDOS to J because he saved us about $350. The dealership wanted $400 for it but J said he could fix it with his dad. So he shopped around for the parts, got it and then he and his dad were able to fix it. My honey is always taking such good care of me.

So while J took my car out to get it fixed, I went to the gym to take a body combat (a.k.a. kickboxing) class.  I had a great time and I always enjoy that class. Afterwards, I pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon/early evening watching Sex & The City. I can't believe I never saw that movie. I wasn't a series regular but I definitely enjoyed watching the movie.

J in the meantime went out with his boys. J doesn't really go out a lot with his boys and even though I understood that, I was in quite a foul mood when he got back home. Can't even say why. No doubt J attributed it to "pregnancy hormones". Thankfully, he was patient with me and gave me the space I needed.

Sunday, we went to the early morning service and then I taught Sunday School to 6 & 7 year olds while J volunteered with the older kids. We headed to IHOP for brunch and then back home.
I took a nice 2-hour nap. I must say I LOVE my Sunday afternoon naps. I am going to miss it when this little one arrives.

When I woke up, J had dinner going. He made very yummy stuffed peppers and I enjoyed every single bit. Then we saw The Vow. I guess it was a weekend of chick flicks.
The only thing that would have made it better would have been a glass of margarita but since I can't do that, I settled for a glass of cold mango juice.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend I am looking forward to the week ahead!

Thoughts/Random Questions:
How was your weekend?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Progress pics and pregnancy update...@ 29 weeks

How Far Along? 29-weeks. 8-weeks to "full term" and 11-weeks to "full 40-week pregnancy". Yes. The countdown has begun! Fully in the 3rd trimester!!!

Size of Baby? About 16 inches long. For comparison, baby is now about the size of a butternut squash and weighs about 2.5 pounds!

Maternity Clothes? Yup. Comfortable and lovingly embracing them now :-). Although I am still able to mix it up a bit wearing pre-pregnancy maxi dresses every now and then.

Stretch Marks? The itching has stopped for the most part but I can't see around the belly anymore so if there are new ones, I haven't noticed .

Sleep? Some good days and other not so good days. I must admit it is a little harder turning from my left side to my right side at night especially when sometimes, that causes pressure on my bladder which then has me waking up to go use the potty. Overall though, not too too bad.

Food Cravings? Still not craving sweets. I can tolerate it better now though. I decided a week ago that I HAD to have cake. So on Monday, I made a carrot cake and frosted it with whipped cream cheese frosting. Then had a taste of it and decided the idea of having the cake tasted way better than actually having the cake. So now I am being forced to eat a piece when I can so it doesn't go to waste. Thankfully, my hubby has also been helpful with that.

What I Miss: Being able to get off the couch sometimes without breathing like I just ran the marathon. But that's a recent occurrence. I read it should get better in about 8-weeks when the baby moves further down which should free up space in my chest cavity for my lungs.

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Anniversary trip a.k.a "babymoon" to Italy in 5-days! I am already practicing my Italian. Buon giorno!!!

Symptoms? There is no hiding it anymore. My bump is on full display and folks are congratulating me at work. One actually said to me "when did this happen?" To which I said "ummm...about 7-months ago!"  Also, my feet are swollen and now my fingers are starting to follow the same path. 

Movement? YES! LOTS AND LOTS of movements. Although, her movements are now slower. No doubt due to the fact that she's running out of room in there. Now its more kicks and squishing inside.  

Belly Button In or Out? Still in but it has taken on a different shape. I don't think it'll pop but I think it'll stretch a little more. For now, I am fine with that.  

Labor Signs? Nope. But have Braxton Hicks every now and then. Drinking lots of water to help combat that.

Best Moment of the Week? Signing the loan documents for our new home. It should be completed next Spring. J & I can't wait to set up the nursery for our little princess. Also, some baby items we ordered have arrived. A constant reminder that life is about to change soon.

Weekly Wisdom: Embrace life! Its a gift. Let go of unhappy thoughts and memories. They are in the past. New things are ahead and you can't win a race by looking back.

That's all for now. Arrivederci!

Thoughts/Random Questions:
What are your plans for the weekend? Do you typically make plans ahead of time or do you wait until the weekend to see what comes up?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life changes

I feel like since I got pregnant, life has changed so much for J and I. Within weeks of finding out I was pregnant, J got a new job which he absolutely loves doing. I was very happy and proud of him him and was excited that our newest addition was already bringing us luck. We are in the process of purchasing our first home together and in addition to that, we are also having to make changes to our finances to ensure that baby J is taken care of when she arrives.

While I am still basking in the joys of soon becoming a first time mom, every now and then, I take a moment to think of all the changes and panic sets in. Here are just some of the thoughts going through my head:

- Will I be a good mom? Since I'll be a first time mom, I hope the decisions I make don't end up scaring the kid for life.

- Will my kids love me? I'd like to say all kids love their parents but I know that's not true. I know of some kids who are estranged from their parents and I honestly don't think I'd be able to handle it if my kids decided that we just aren't a good match as far as being close to J & I.

- Will I ever fit in my regular clothes again? I know that's not something I should be worrying about now but the thought does occur to me frequently. I see some people who have a baby and then years later, folks are still trying to figure out if its a new pregnancy or if its just weight from the last pregnancy.

- Will I ever be able to just be selfish and do what I want? I know that is a selfish thing to think of especially when bringing a child into this world but I often wonder if I will ever be as independent as I am now. J is awesome and gives me my space when I need it but I know kids are more needy than husbands.

- I love to travel...will that be a forgotten dream? Before I met J, I made a list of the places I'd like to visit. I haven't even gotten half way through the list and I am a little scared that I won't get to it now with a kid. Granted, my parents took us with them when we were young and now they do occasionally travel on their own but I am scared that I won't be able to take those trips and that'll be one of those bucket list items I never get to.

- Will we ever be able to retire and enjoy life? J & I are somewhat late bloomers. We met a little before we each turned 30 and got married at 33. I'll be 35 when our first little one arrives which means that by the time she graduates college, I'll be 57! YIKES!!! I sometimes envy my friends who started their family at a younger because it means they'll also be done at a younger age.

Those are just some of the thoughts that have been running through my head. Thankfully, J has listened and we often talk about them. He does a good job putting my mind at ease but oftentimes, its just a matter of time before I get back to that line of thought again.

I know some of these thoughts are first time parent fears but I can assure you in my head, it all seems VERY rational :-).

Here's a picture of J & I on our first trip together outside of the States. I still remember how happy I was that night!

Thoughts/Random Questions:
Do you have any fears of "growing up" and taking on additional responsibilities? If so, how do you tackle them?
For the first time moms out there, did you ever have any of these fears? If so, please share and let me know how you felt after the baby arrived.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Progress pics and pregnancy update...@ 28 weeks

HOME STRETCH!!! - I am officially in my 3rd Trimester!

How Far Along? 28-weeks. 9-weeks to "full term" and 12-weeks to "full 40-week pregnancy". 

Size of Baby? About 15.5 inches long. For comparison, baby is now about the size of a Chinese cabbage and weighs about 2.25-pounds!

Maternity Clothes? Yup. My shoes on the other hand are getting more and more uncomfortable. Its typically flip flips, sneakers or a pair of black flats I recently acquired. I try to dress it up a bit on Sundays though so hubby can still remember what my legs looked like prior to all the swelling :-).

Stretch Marks? Haven't seen any new ones but haven't really been looking either. I use Palmer's Cocoa butter but I figured it is what it is. I'll be THRILLED if I don't get them but I also know that there's a good chance I will since I already had them before getting pregnant.

Sleep? Some good days and other not so good days. 

Food Cravings? I've got my sweet tooth back! Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I did have my 28-week glucose test on Monday. Doctor's office just called and my blood glucose level is great. Only issue is that some genius cancelled the blood type test so now I have to go back for ANOTHER test. Have I mentioned how much I HATE needles? I think I'll be taking J with me this time for emotional support. 

What I Miss: Being able to climb the stairs without needing a "push" from J! Being able to take the step and kickboxing classes without feeling like my legs are getting heavier by the second. Being able to just get up and walk without feeling like I first need to stretch and take baby steps so as to "work" the muscles. Oh and being able to sleep on my stomach!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Anniversary trip a.k.a "babymoon" to Italy in less than 2-weeks! Test driving cars this weekend. Hoping we can find one we like that'll suit us and cater to our new addition.

Symptoms? Definitely feeling more "off-center". I have never been a clumsy person and this pregnancy has me feeling clumsy. I have to hold handrails climbing the stairs. For a germophobe like me, that's a HUGE deal but it can't be helped cause sometimes, I just feel "off".

Movement? YES! LOTS AND LOTS of movements. The movements are more powerful now and hubby loves watching my stomach move on its own. I must admit that I am also fascinated.  

Belly Button In or Out? Still in. Yay!!! Fingers crossed that it stays in. Its shape has changed though. The hole used to be more oval and now is more round.

Labor Signs?  I think I am starting to feel some braxton hicks pains! Nothing painful just uncomfortable sometimes.

Best Moment of the Week? Beginning the process for our new home build. It won't be ready until the baby is a few months old but having this one box checked off our LONG list of things to do before baby arrives is really a good feeling. 
Also, we ordered the car seat and a few other items. Makes things MUCH more real. 

Weekly Wisdom: Try to enjoy the moment and not focus on the negatives. This is something I have to do more of. Its been hard seeing my body grow in width. I have been going to the gym to try to keep it down but so far, I am up 16-lbs. Considering 14 of those 16-lbs came in my second trimester, its been an emotional challenge for me. I know that's not a ton but I'd like to stay as close to 25-lbs as possible when all is said and done. 

Thoughts/Random Questions:
For moms, how much weight did you gain with your kids and were you able to lose it afterwards? How were you able to maintain a healthy weight?
For non-moms, do you think you'll keep up a workout routine during pregnancy?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bon Appetit Mondays - 8/13/12

Today has been a rather hectic day for me and I am glad my workday is finally over. Now on to my second job for the day...finishing up laundry, preparing dinner for the day and lunches for the week. A wife's job is never done! Thankfully, J always appreciates all my hard work and when he doesn't, I nicely remind him :-).

Tonight's dinner is curried chicken with rice. J loves my curried chicken and it is the easiest recipe. I don't like to spend more time in the kitchen than I have to. So here it goes.

Dish makes 6-8 servings
- 2-lbs Boneless chicken (I prefer bone-in but J doesn't so I go with his preference since he eats more of the food)
- 3 medium sized red skinned potatoes (cut up into cubes)
- 2-cups rice
- 1 teaspoon of hot chili pepper powder (I got this at the African store nearby but you can substitute with peppers of your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onions
- 1/2 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
- 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- Seasoned salt to taste (amount varies based on your salt consumption)
- 2 tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder

Food Preparation:
1. Wash the potatoes before cutting into bite size. Then put in a pot, add water (just enough to cover), parsley flakes and a little bit of seasoned salt.
2. Let potatoes cook for 20-minutes.
Steps 1 & 2 can be done at the same time as 3 & 4 using 2 separate pots.
3. Put the chicken (it is easier to cut into bite size later), hot chili powder, garlic powder, minced onions, curry powder and seasoned salt in a pot. Add enough water to cover the chicken (depending on the pot, about 3-cups).
4. Let chicken cook for 30-minutes.
5. Take out chicken, put on a plate and using a fork and knife, either shred or cut into bite size pieces and add back to pot
6. Add potatoes (yes it'll still have some of the water used to cook it) into the chicken mix
7. Add cup of yogurt to mix. Mix all together but don't mush it.
8. Let cook on low for about 15-minutes
9. Boil up some rice
10. Dinner is served! Bon Appetit!

Thoughts/Random Questions:
Do you have a favorite curried chicken or curried meat recipe? If so, do share!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Progress pics and pregnancy update...

I finally managed to put together a collage of all the pictures I have to date. Its nice to be able to see my progress especially since for the first few weeks, I felt like I wasn't showing much progress.

Now, its VERY obvious.

How Far Along? 27-weeks. 10-weeks to "full term" and 13-weeks to "full 40-week pregnancy". 

Size of Baby? About 15 inches long. Go ahead and pull out your ruler! For comparison, baby is now about the size of a large eggplant and weighs about 2-pounds!

Maternity Clothes? Yup. Comfortable and lovingly embracing them now :-). I am wearing a pre-pregnancy dress right now but that's only cause it isn't a clingy dress.

Stretch Marks? 5 new ones that I've noticed! My stomach has been itching so Palmer's Cocoa butter with vitamin E is my new best friend. I have some at work and at home. But from what I have read, stretch marks are determined by my genes and since I already have them, I figured there's not avoiding them.

Sleep? Some good days and other not so good days. I prefer sleeping on my right side but recently, I am able to fall asleep and stay asleep on my left side.

Food Cravings? Still not craving sweets. I can tolerate it better now though. I was into watermelons a few weeks ago but now, I am looking for another fruit of choice.
I am also still on my Frozen yogurt kick and with the scorching temperatures, anything cold right now will suffice :-).

What I Miss: Being able to walk and talk and breath at the same time. Now, I can either walk and breath or talk and breath but can't do all 3 altogether. I run out of breath and have to take deeeeeeepppppp breaths! Still thrilled to be back at the gym. I have had to make some modifications to my workouts but it definitely beats walking outside. It is HOT HOT HOT out there!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Anniversary trip a.k.a "babymoon" to Italy in 2.5 weeks! Also, we start purchasing baby stuff this weekend.

Symptoms? Starting to feel a little "off-center". My face has changed! I stare at myself in the mirror and can actually see that I look different. Feet are swollen and my wedding and engagement rings went in the safe a month ago :-(. I did get a new wedding band but it sometimes gets tight when I am swollen from water retention.

Movement? YES! LOTS AND LOTS of movements. This little gal LOVES to move especially when I sit down to relax at night. She has decided that's her favorite time of "day". I hope its not a sign of things to come as far as her trying to stay up late.  

Belly Button In or Out? Still in but I noticed its depth is reducing with each passing week! A week ago, I felt her pushing up against my belly button! I think she is trying to force it out! I pushed back gently and she yanked on something in there which of course was uncomfortable for ME! So I guess for now, she has control in there. 

Labor Signs? Nope. Not expected for another 6-8 weeks.

Best Moment of the Week? Preparing for baby's arrival. Its sometimes daunting but we are both THRILLED and are very much looking forward to meeting her come late October/early November . We plan on getting a number of tasks done in the month of August. Wish us luck!

Weekly Wisdom: Enjoy each day and every moment. Our pastor always says "no one is promised the next breathe" and he is right. Let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you. A few people I know have lost loved ones in recent weeks and it really makes me sad when I hear "I wish I told them..." or I wish they knew..."
I hope I am like my parents with our baby. I ALWAYS want our little princess to know how much she is loved and I will ALWAYS tell her each and every day that she is loved. 

Thoughts/Random Questions:
Is there such a thing as a "perfect number of kids"? I often wonder about that. 
For moms, how many kids do you have and is this it for you or do you plan on having more?
For non-moms, how many do you think you'll have and why?

Monday, August 6, 2012

How I spent last week...

Last week was a pretty full week for J & I. We spent the week with my family on vacation in Orlando, Florida. It was a really fun week and the best part of the week was spending time with the rest of my family. Its often difficult for us all to get together so last week was extra special.

I am one of 6-kids. I have an older brother, 3 younger sisters and a younger brother. My older brother and immediate younger sister are both married to awesome people and they are parents to my favorite 5-kids in the world! I just love their kids to pieces and am excited for them to meet their newest cousin in early November.
They have been anticipating their cousin's arrival and we all got to listen to the baby's heartbeat and feel her kick. They were all very excited.

Now on to the week in review.

J & I left for Florida on Tuesday and after 2 flight delays, we made it to Florida. I was extremely tired and the compression socks I wore through both legs of our flight was just NOT comfortable! Although, it did do what it was supposed to do and kept the swelling away.

On Wednesday, J, my sister in law, my nephews and I all headed to the Kennedy Space Center while the rest of the family went to Holy Land.
I was quite impressed with the exhibits at the space center and just made me really proud to be American and to see the progress people have made over time. It felt so great just being there and seeing the stuff we typically see on TV up close.

On Thursday, we all went to Universal Studios. J & I have been there before so we really didn't see much new BUT it was made more special seeing how excited the kids were to be there. I couldn't get on any rides being 6+ months pregnant and all so I ended up just hanging out with the younger kids. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and it wasn't too too hot.
At the end of the day, J & I went to the pool at my parent's timeshare. It was a VERY welcomed relief! I just sat in the pool for a while and then J carried me around the pool while I screamed "don't get my hair wet!"
We had a Shrek sighting!

On Friday, we again went to Universal Studios but spent the day on the Island of Adventures. J & I haven't been to that side of the park so it was all new to us. We walked around and I got to see some of my beloved comic book characters (Captain America, Spiderman, Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm (although, if you ask me she was TOOOO old to be wearing the outfit she had on). The Island of Adventures is truly a parent's worse nightmare money-wise and a kid's dream! I doubt its even possible for a parent to go in there and not spend money on other items. But its worth it to see the look on the faces of the kids.

On Saturday, we went to the pool and soaked up the sun. Then it was back to our various destinations on Sunday. The week went by TOO FAST and I miss everyone already BUT, I am comforted by the fact that J & I will be heading to Italy at the end of the month. I hope I can get the go-ahead from my doctor at my next appointment on Monday.

Thoughts/Random Questions:
Have you taken a vacation this year? If so, to where? Would you rather go on a family vacation or on a vacation with just you and your significant other/travel buddy?


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