21 December, 2012

Two Months


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Cecily turned two months old yesterday!

We celebrated by going to our favorite, semi-local coffee shop (Kean) and bakery (SusieCakes) for macchiatos and frosted sugar cookies, picking up a couple items on super sale from BabyGap with a gift card, trying to get a photo of Momma and Cecily where Cecily wasn't pissed that there was a camera in her face, and picking up a Christmas tree (finally).

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(See how cranky she was with that camera in her face??)

It was a somewhat exhausting, but fun, day. I love hanging out with my little family. We're the best.

At Cecily's last doctor's appointment (six weeks), she was in the 75th percentile for height and weight. She was 22" tall and weighed ten pounds and eight ounces. She definitely feels heavier than that now! It's amazing that she's already doubled in weight since we brought her home from the hospital!!

We're getting Cecily's acid reflux under control with the help of Prilosec. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Prilosec!!! You're expensive, but my little girl is so much happier with you in her life! Totally worth it.

Cecily still sleeps A LOT - maybe about 18 hours a day (I don't record this though, so I could be exaggerating a lot). She eats about 8-10 times a day and only nurses for about 5-10 minutes (she's a fast eater like her momma!). Cecily naps off and on out in the living room with us in the evenings, nursing frequently in between. She goes to "bed" around 11:00 or midnight and sleeps anywhere from 6-8 hours then wakes up, eats, and sleeps for another 3-4 hours. It's pretty wonderful. She still sleeps swaddled (aden + anais are THE BEST swaddling blankets) and has been sleeping in her crib next to our bed since we brought her home from the hospital. She's also really good at putting herself to sleep at bedtime now. She always falls asleep nursing then wakes up while I swaddle her. When we put her in her crib, she's wide awake and smiling. Sometimes she stays awake for up to 45 minutes talking, turning her head from side to side, and looking at things. Usually, she falls asleep in about 15 minutes. She isn't as good at putting herself to sleep for naps during the day and sometimes will only nap in Momma's arms.


At two months, Cecily:

• LOVES music. Brahms Lullaby is her favorite, especially sung by Momma with her special words. She also loves the lullaby version of "I See the Light" from Tangled. If she's freaking out, I can turn it on, and it usually silences her. I call it the baby charming song. We listen to it on repeat all night long. It's pretty much the soundtrack to my life right now.

• really enjoys getting out of the house and going on adventures (like to the grocery store and Target - oh my!) but also really enjoys coming home.

• no longer screams bloody murder in her car seat... for the most part.

• loves her mylicol drops (we call them candy drops).

• also likes chamomile tea, which she takes with Momma in the evening.

• is happiest on her changing pad, even her travel changing pad (this is nice when we're out to eat). She can lay on that thing for about an hour, happy as a clam.

• is working REALLY hard on sucking her thumb. She tries to get it in her mouth every day.

• finally took a didi (pacifier) for the first time a couple days ago. I only give it to her if she's screaming because she really doesn't like it all that much. Sometimes she spits it out and tries to get her thumb in her mouth instead. She still frequently gags when I put the didi in her mouth. Same goes for bottles. She's exclusively breastfed at this point (no bottles except for her tea).

• LOVES having her head back. In her Moby wrap, Momma has to carry it for her. This was also her favorite position in the womb.

• loves Momma's kisses and is starting to "kiss" back (she opens her mouth).

• gets really distracted by Daddy and loves to see what he's up to (this is nice when she accompanies him in the kitchen in her rocker seat while he makes his coffee or cooks dinner).

• enjoys FaceTiming with Daddy while he's at work. She recognizes his face and voice and smiles at him. Cutest thing.


Cecily's nicknames at two months:

• Silly 
(short for Cecily)
• Bean
• SillyBean
• Biscuit
• Honey
• Muffin
• Snorkels


I love the personality that I'm starting to see emerge. Cecily is independent but really enjoys cuddling. She's sometimes easy going and sometimes very demanding. She smiles a lot. She has strong likes and dislikes already. And she's happiest when the three of us are all together. Levi and I are absolutely in love with her and genuinely enjoy being her Momma and Daddy.

C - two months


14 December, 2012

this is today.



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Photo on 2012-12-14 at 16.59 #2

a whole lotta baby holding going on around here today.
and one-handed typing.
and hanging out in my mom clothes (aka yoga pants and levi's sweatshirt).

cecily has pretty bad acid reflux. we just switched medictaions, so things are a little rough while we wait for the prilosec to really kick in. today, she won't sleep (or stop crying) unless i'm holding her.

it's exhausting, but i don't mind too much. it's sweet that she's so comforted by me and only wants to be in my arms.

and on a day like today, i'm really really grateful to have my baby safe at home in my arms. i'll hold her for as long as she wants. everything else can wait.

12 December, 2012

Life Lately



Cecily is seven weeks old now. So much has happened. My life has changed so completely. In the best possible ways. I used to feel so discontented on a regular basis. I constantly found myself thinking, "I can't wait for [this]. I can't wait for [that]. If only [this]. If only [that]." While I was pregnant, I had a whole list of things I couldn't wait for with having a daughter. I even wrote them all down! They're saved in my phone somewhere.

But now that she's here, that has all changed. I rarely feel discontented anymore. Sure, there are many things I want to see change in my life. And there's tons of stuff I want. But it doesn't eat away at my heart and soul anymore like it used to.

And as far as that list of things I couldn't wait for when my daughter arrived - yeah, I can wait. I am so happy with where I'm at with her right now that I rarely even think about what lies ahead. I've already seen how quickly it goes. I just want to enjoy every moment with her. I don't want to rush ahead in my mind. It's all so good right now.

Even the hard parts are good. They show me how much patience I developed the second I met Cecily. I'm amazed at how much tolerance I have at 2:00 in the morning when she's screaming in my ear, projectile vomiting everywhere, when I've sung her favorite lullaby on a loop for 45 minutes. I'm amazed by my ability to slow down and think, "This is all only temporary. Before I know it, we'll all be sleeping in our own rooms through the night, and I'll miss the days when I stayed up rocking her and singing her to sleep." And I will miss these days. I'll miss them so much. I'm already in a continual state of mourning all the tininess and sweetness that has passed. But each new stage is so wonderful that I can't be sad for too long. Being a mother is so heartbreaking and beautiful and exhausting and draining and energizing and fulfilling. It's all of these things all the time. It's the best thing I've ever done, and I love every single second of it. I was born to do this. I've never been happier.

Here are some photos of Cecily on her one-month birthday (11.20) and a couple days after her one-month birthday (11.22 - Levi's birthday... aka Thanksgiving 2012):

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cecily one month 3

cecily one month 2

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I can't believe another month has almost passed since we took these photos!! For Cecily's one-month birthday, we took her to Fashion Island. It was her second visit there. She's super into it. ;) And on Levi's birthday, we walked down to Peet's for a late breakfast and hung out there for awhile. We didn't do anything for Thanksgiving, but it was a really nice day just hanging around at home, relaxing, and eating (we made honey balsamic cornflake chicken and Greek yogurt mashed potatoes - my current favorite meal).

I hope to start blogging regularly soon so that I can record all of the milestones happening on a daily basis around here. I have a really strong desire to document it all so that I don't forget anything, but I have an even stronger desire to slow down and live in the moment. Finding a balance between those desires (and finding the time!) will be my challenge. But for now, this works!


Did you see?



Hello, friends!

Have you seen the latest issue of The Violet? It's our first-ever holiday issue!

violet holiday issue

Check it out here. There's lots of beautiful photography, some excellent recipes, and even a poem in this issue! I hope you enjoy it!


Cover image by Carmyn Joy.

29 November, 2012

Shop Ménagerie!



Levi and I have been wanting to open an Etsy shop for about a year now, and we FINALLY did it!

You can find Ménagerie here and follow our tweets here.

Menagerie working

Our banner and products shots need some work, but we just wanted to finally open this dang thing so we figured it didn't need to be perfect (we two are perfectionists... that's why projects like this take us so long).

All the drawings we're selling right now are originals by Levi with some help from yours truly. We'll be offering prints in the future at which point, the originals will increase in price. So get 'em while they're cheap!

I hope you like Ménagerie!


11 November, 2012

Cecily's One Week Birthday



The day Cecily turned one week old (Saturday, 27 October) was really hard for me. Levi worked that day, and I had gotten really nostalgic for the week that had passed. I spent the day looking through photos of our girl, starting to write her birth story (something I never thought I'd do), cuddling my baby, and weeping. I was just so sad that time was already passing SO quickly.

By the time Levi got home from work, I was a mess. Levi decided that we needed to do something to celebrate Cecily's one week birthday, so the three of us walked down to the cupcake bakery near our house to get her a cupcake... which I ate for her. ;)

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The bakery was empty, which was awesome because we're really not supposed to have her around people yet (don't worry - we're really careful and cautious when we go out), and the sweetest family stood outside the glass doors and watched as we took photos of Cecily with her cupcake. They were oohing and aahing outside over how cute and tiny she was. It made me feel like a million bucks. The teenage daughter took the last photo. They weren't even getting cupcakes; they just wanted to see the teeny baby. :)

After our cupcake, we walked around a bit more, picked up some dinner, and walked home.

It sounds cheesy, but it made me feel so much better. Getting out of the house and celebrating the milestone was a heck of lot better than staying inside and feeling heartbroken that my little, teeny-tiny girl was already growing up.

Hi!



Being a mom is awesome. It's the best thing I've ever done. Our little Cecily Jo has been a dream baby so far. Last night, she slept from 12:30-6:30, ate, and went back to sleep 'til 10:30! I'm pretty sure we won the baby lottery with this one. I love this little bean SO much.

I have lots of things I could blog about, but I don't really know where to start, so I'll share the first photo taken of the three of us as a family.

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It's not the best photo of any one of us, but I think it's the most beautiful photo in the world. I love my little family.

22 October, 2012

Little Love



Hello, all! Thank you so much for all the congratulatory comments, tweets, emails, texts, phone calls, Facebook comments, and Instagram comments... I haven't been responding to much over the past few days, but I've read every single message. It makes me so happy to have so many people all over the place sharing in our joy. :)

We're still at the hospital recovering from my C-section. Cecily is perfectly healthy, and I'm recovering nicely too. I came down with a REALLY bad cold a week ago though, so that's been tricky. Coughing after a C-section is NOT my favorite.

We are scheduled to go home tomorrow. I can't wait to see Cecily in her going home outfit (one of the things we actually grabbed on our unexpected race to the hospital) and her car seat... she's going to look SO tiny!

So far, she's the sweetest little baby I've ever met. And I'm really not just saying that. Her cry sounds like puppy whimpers, and when she really gets going (which isn't often), she sounds like a little lamb. She has just now discovered how much she likes eating, so that's pretty much all we've been up to since last night. Eating and sleeping! Levi and I have been napping lots too.

We love our little Cecily Jo sooooo much.

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(sleepy momma and baby on our first night)

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cecily 1


20 October, 2012

A Baby!



She's here! She's here! Our little biscuit decided to come a few weeks early!

Born on Saturday, 20 October, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.

18.5 inches; 6 pounds 3 ounces

Cecily Jo Myers





12 October, 2012

Bare Bumping It at 36 Weeks



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I am now 36 weeks pregnant.

This week started out kinda scary. At our regular ultrasound, the perinatologist informed me that my placenta "looked old." Apparently, it's prematurely aging. She graded it as a "grade III," which it shouldn't be until the end. All she really said was that it probably wouldn't be a problem, but I need to make sure I do my kick counts. Then she said I needed to go into fetal diagnostics at the hospital twice a week for monitoring until she comes...

At first, I was just kind of irritated that I had to go in for hour-long monitoring twice a week on top of all the other stuff we have going on. But a couple hours later, it sunk in what this whole old placenta thing means. It means that there's the potential for my placenta to essentially die and stop taking care of my baby. Then I freaked out. I've had to hear a lot of things like this throughout my entire pregnancy. It hasn't been easy, and there have been lots of little concerns and minor complications. I haven't freaked out at any of them. I hardly even flinched when I found out I had to have a C-section. But this was too much for me. I couldn't stop crying, and I was so so soooo scared.

Levi and I had church that night. I cried pretty much the entire time. At the end, two women prayed for me, Levi, the baby, and my jerk of a placenta. I began to feel a little bit of peace, but I was still pretty scared. The next day, I kept telling myself, "I won't be afraid. I won't worry." In the afternoon, I got a text from one of the women with this verse:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. - Deuteronomy 31:8

That was really comforting, and I started to feel really covered in peace and prayer. Then Levi called and told me he had spoken with the most senior perinatologist at our ultrasound office. The doctor said that they never judge a placenta on how it looks; it's how it functions that counts. And since my baby is right on target, my placenta seems to be functioning just fine. He also said that the twice-weekly monitoring should be able to catch anything before it actually becomes a problem. 

Hearing this made me feel SO much better. I was so relieved, and I've been really relaxed about the whole thing ever since. I had my first monitoring appointment yesterday. Everything looked great, and I haven't noticed any decrease in movement. Baby girl is doing really well! Hopefully, she'll stay put until her scheduled Halloween birthday, but we're almost ready for her now, so she can come any time she wants.

Pregnancy is really hard, you guys! Even though this has been the most difficult period of our lives, I feel incredibly grateful for so many things. God has been taking care of us LIKE CRAZY. Seriously, I could write a book on this. We have seen miraculous provision. I trust God like I never have before, and it feels really really good. I'm excited to see what He has in store for my little family of three.

P.S. This is the most risqué bump shot you guys will see on here... hopefully, my bare bump didn't offend anyone too much. ;)


10 October, 2012

It's Here!



Hey, guys!

I haven't been around these parts much because I've been busy working on the Fall issue of The Violet, which just launched today!

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There's lots of great content in this issue including a DIY on how to make your own candles, delicious oatmeal recipes, and some exceptionally gorgeous photography.

Check it out here, and let us know what you think on our blog here.

P.S. You can now view all of our issues on your mobile devices!! I was flipping through the Fall issue on my iPhone last night. It was awesome!!



14 September, 2012

A Survey



Happy Friday to you all!

If you're a reader of The Violet, could you do me a huge favor by filling out this quick survey?

We're trying to learn more about our readers and grow as a publication, so your feedback is greatly valued and appreciated.

image property of thevioletonline.com

Thank you so much! And have a gorgeous weekend!


12 September, 2012

Mommas: Some Solicited Advice Please



Anyone who's ever been engaged or pregnant knows a thing or two about unsolicited advice. Well, here's your chance to offer me some advice that I'm actually asking for! ;)

Alright, first of all, let's talk breast pumps. I know I want an electric breast pump, but I have no idea what kind. Is Medela really the best? Should I get a double pump (that's what I'm leaning towards)? What else should I be looking for? I've been looking at these two: the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature double electric pump and the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Have you used either of these? Or something else? Thoughts? Are there any breast pumps that you would suggest I stay away from?

And besides strollers, car seats, cribs, and swings, what were your number one, can't-live-without-them baby items? And what were the items you thought you needed but hardly used?

Thank you in advance!!


11 September, 2012

Spooky



Guess who gets to meet her baby at 10:00 a.m. on the 31st of October??

32 weeks

This girl!
(Can you tell my shirt has little black cat heads all over it?!)

Our spooky little babe is all set to make her arrival via C-section on Halloween morning. You better believe we'll be calling her Spooky (I've been humming this song all day).

I'm honestly not even a little upset that I have to have a C-section... I've known it was a possibility for so long, so I've been able to come up with lists of drawbacks and benefits for each form of childbirth. I'm just so relieved to have an answer now! It's gonna be good. Really really good.

So yeah, in seven weeks and one day, I'm gonna be a mom! Oh wow... that's really really soon.


31 August, 2012

Oh, Pregnancy.



Hello! Remember me? I'm the one who used to update this blog with posts. Hi, how've you been?

I have not disappeared, and nothing's wrong. I just don't have much to say anymore... or I don't know how to say it. I'm not sure. Every time I start to write something or I take a picture, I end up not liking it  and giving up. Let's just blame it on pregnancy brain and the fact that I'm in my third trimester during a heat wave that is slowly sucking the life out of me. I hate heat. HATE IT. Always have, always will.

I am now 30+ weeks pregnant... 

30 weeks
(by the way, these are basically the only three outfits I wear anymore... nothing fits!)

Less than ten weeks 'til my due date!! We're still waiting to find out if I'll have to have a C-section due to a few little things going on, so our daughter could potentially be here in just under nine weeks (that's just insane). I'm really not worried about the prospect of having to have a C-section. I don't care about the method of childbirth as long as it's the safest way to get this baby girl out. I really can't wait to meet her. I wish she could come today... but there's still SO much to do that it's good to have this little bit of remaining time.

I've been pretty stressed and somewhat miserable. These are some other reasons my online presence has dwindled over the last few months. If I were blogging or tweeting more right now, most of the things coming out of my mouth would probably be complaints. I'm just not a big fan of being pregnant! I know some women absolutely love it and feel fantastic... I wish I was one of those women, but I'm just not. This is the hardest thing I've ever done. I am SO much slower now in every way (physically and mentally), and I find this really frustrating. My body hurts all the time. It's amazing to me that I can wake up with feet that feel like they've spent the last 12 hours walking around Disneyland! How is that possible?? And my entire back hurts constantly. On the bright side, my insurance covers visits to the chiropractor (which includes pre-natal massage!!!!). This has been SUCH a huge blessing and has helped me so much. I go every week. And every time I'm in that office, I praise God for the opportunity. Every pregnant woman should get to have weekly adjustments and massage.

As far as stress goes... ugh. I won't get into it too much. Levi and I are just really really struggling financially. We're behind on everything, and there are so many things we still need to feel prepared for the baby. We're really trying to keep baby stuff to the minimum, but we still need things in other parts of our life in order for this transition to go smoothly. I feel like I'm in nesting/preparation mode without the ability or means to nest and prepare, and it's frustrating. My ever-expanding body also stresses me out. I feel so fat, and I keep worrying that I'll never get to wear any of my cute clothes again. This sounds so trivial and ridiculous, but it really does trouble me. "Will I ever be skinny again???" runs through my head several times a day.

Even though I probably sound really negative right now, I'm still very hopeful that everything will work out. God always provides for us. Always always always. And this time won't be any different. Our faith is being tested in major ways, but I know it's not for nothing. I know God is doing something in us right now - training us, preparing us, protecting us, teaching us. I'm not sure what exactly He's got going on, but I know He's up to something. And that's really exciting to think about. And I know that no matter what happens between now and little Miss Myers's birthday, I'm going to have a beautiful, perfect daughter at the end of this. I'm going to be a mother, and Levi will be a father. And we are going to kick ASS at those jobs. I can't wait to see how this changes us. I can't wait to see what we do. I can't wait to see Levi holding his baby for the first time. I already know that my love for him will grow exponentially watching him become a father, and that thrills me beyond words. I'm really excited to fall in love with my daughter, but I might be even more excited to fall in love more deeply with my husband and to see how this strengthens our marriage.

I can't wait to become a little family of three. Three is a great number. I think we're gonna really like it.


02 August, 2012

A Post on Chik-Fil-A, Gay Marriage, and Being a Christian


I try not to discuss political stuff online very often, and, honestly, I'm a little afraid to post this link, but I'm going to anyway. As a Christian, the whole Chik-Fil-A hoopla yesterday really bummed me out. This article does a pretty good job explaining why (this guy's site is getting a lot of traffic, so if you have trouble getting to the link, keep trying. It's a good article). And as long as I'm being brave, I'll say this - while I view my own marriage as a spiritual/religious union, I don't view marriage, in general, that way. I don't think it's fair to! Marriage is so personal. And when it comes to the issue of who can legally get married, I wholeheartedly believe in equality. I believe that two consenting adults should have the right to marry each other. I don't think the law has any business deciding who those two consenting adults can be. I love my gay friends. I know that the love they share with their significant others is genuine. And I don't feel that I have any right to judge them or their "lifestyle" (I kinda hate that word because being gay isn't really their lifestyle... it's not like we're talking about being vegan; being gay is part of WHO THEY ARE). By the way, I've come to these beliefs through reading and studying the Bible. This isn't stuff I've pulled out of thin air. I've thought a lot about this topic. Levi and I have discussed it at length, and I feel really comfortable with saying that my beliefs are Christian. However, this isn't a cut-and-dry issue. I don't want to be wishy-washy or misrepresent what the Bible says, so I'll say this - while the Bible certainly weighs in on the subject of homosexuality, it doesn't weigh in on the subject of gay marriage or whether or not a government should treat its citizens equally. I have come to my beliefs because I think Jesus would want me to treat and love everyone equally. I'm not posting these things to get into some big debate on the topic because I really don't want to. No one can change my mind (other than God), and I may not be able to change anyone else's mind, but, as a Christian, I felt compelled to present this side of the story after so many other Christians presented their side yesterday.

P.S. I've edited this post about a thousand times after clicking "publish." I take this issue very seriously, and I want my words to reflect that.

21 July, 2012

I really REALLY love my husband.



First of all, our Internet is down right now, so I'm writing this from the Blogger app on my phone... we'll see how it goes...

So, yes, I do realize that the title of this post is really stating the obvious. Of course, I love my husband. I loved him yesterday, I love him today, and I'll love him tomorrow. After all, that's what I agreed to in our marriage vows. But sometimes I feel an extra surge of love and appreciation for him. I know love isn't necessarily a feeling, but isn't that love feeling nice? Don't you like when it strikes? I know I won't have that feeling every day (I've already learned this from experience), but I hope to always value that feeling, to work hard at creating space for that feeling, and to give Levi more opportunities to have that feeling for me. Lord knows I don't always make it easy.

Yesterday morning was a tough one for me. It was the fifth consecutive day of being woken up by jackhammers at 7:00 in the morning right outside our bedroom window. Closing our windows hasn't really helped... those things may as well be made of paper. Plus, it gets really hot when we close them. And on top of the jackhammers, I don't sleep very well these days even when it's quiet. Most nights, I wake up about every 20-30 minutes. I usually have to go to the bathroom (God bless this little girl who sleeps on my bladder) and flip over... with my mountains of pillows. My back hurts, my shoulders hurt, and what I wouldn't give to be able to sleep on my stomach or back again!!!

So, I was at my wit's end on Friday morning, listening to those jackhammers tearing up the sidewalk as Levi somehow managed to fall back asleep. I wanted to be somewhere far far away. I actually spent a good chunk of that morning crying over the fact that I didn't live in San Francisco yet (specifically, Mill Valley) and that I didn't know the next time I'd get to visit. I felt homesick for a place I'd never lived. I felt frustrated and fed up and TIRED.

Levi only had one client scheduled for later in the day, so our plans had been to spend the day doing mountains of laundry at the laundromat. That was the last thing on the planet I wanted to do that morning. What I wanted was to ditch my life in Long Beach and hop on the next plane for San Francisco. But I figured I could settle for a cup of Peruvian sipping chocolate and some pain au chocolat. This may not sound like much, but it actually required a trip down to Costa Mesa... we don't know anywhere to get sipping chocolate in Long Beach... and I won't eat pain au chocolat here. Nobody gets the pastry right, and the chocolate is always too sweet.

So, my sweet, loving husband who really needed some clean shirts and underwear happily opted to spend his morning down in Orange County indulging his wife's silly need for chocolate. It may not sound like much to anyone else, but it meant the world to me. I really needed that time (and that chocolate) on Friday morning. And Levi's willingness to cheerfully sacrifice his own needs to make me happy definitely gave me all the love feelings.

And you know what? We had SUCH a good day. By the time we got to the bakery, the pain au chocolat had JUST been placed on a cooling rack. There aren't many things as delicious as fresh, warm pastry with a healthy dose of bittersweet chocolate. My mom even joined us for breakfast. That afternoon, I ended up hanging out at the salon in the lovely air conditioning while Levi did his one client's hair, then we headed home to lounge around in bed with the ceiling fan on, feeling the baby kick and playing Radiohead on headphones for her for the first time (she was going crazy for 15 Step in there). In the evening, we took a walk to get some cold drinks, and we watched Jeff, Who Lives at Home with all the lights off and all the windows wide open.

We never ended up doing the laundry, but sometimes the laundry can wait.

13 July, 2012

It's that time again!!!



The summer issue of The Violet is live! This is our second summer issue... it's crazy to me that we've already been doing this for more than a year! It's been really amazing to be a part of this publication and to see how it has evolved from the beginning. At The Violet, we believe that everyone can live a happy and beautiful life, and I think this issue will inspire you to do just that.


the violet summer 2012 cover


Go check it out, enjoy it, and let us know what you think!


06 July, 2012

Holding Pattern



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Lately, I've felt like I'm kind of stuck in a holding pattern. Levi and I both feel like we're on the verge of some big changes (besides the obvious little addition coming this fall!), so we're really trying to focus on spending this waiting period being faithful and patient... without grumbling. I find myself having to continuously reset my mind throughout the day to remind myself to put my trust and hope in God and the things He has planned for us... even if I don't really know what all those things are just yet! I really strongly believe that big changes are coming, and that's really exciting!! But in the meantime, life is just a little bit boring.

And when I get bored, I am seized by an inability to be productive or to do anything really. It's like I become physically incapacitated, and I just sit around staring at things all day. This isn't a new development for me; this is something I've struggled with my whole life. Some days, I have absolutely no idea where my time went... probably into the black hole that is my iPhone (sometimes I seriously wish I could throw that thing off a pier or that the Internet would suddenly cease to exist).

So today, as I was sitting on my bed in my bathrobe, staring at things, feeling really really tired, I decided to get my butt up and put some clothes on. Then I drove myself to See's Candy for some dark California brittle and a lemon truffle (my current obsession). I took myself to my old college campus (CSU Long Beach), found a parking spot, bought myself a Diet Coke (why on earth I wanted a Diet Coke is beyond me... I never drink that stuff), and wandered around for an hour. There's something about being on-campus that I really love. Levi and I sometimes go there just to walk around when we can't think of anything else to do. I guess it's the eternal student in me. Anyway, it was really nice. And it somehow managed to make me feel a little bit productive. I didn't really produce anything, but I moved my body, and I soaked up some sunshine, and I'm constantly growing this baby, so it was good.  I feel good. And I feel happy to wait for all the big and small things coming up.


29 June, 2012

For Sale



Does anyone want to buy a pair of brand new gold Salt Water sandals from me in a women's size 8 ("Youth 6 Womens 8")? I think they fit pretty true to size.

gold sw sandals
(stock photo 'cause I was too lazy to pull out my camera.)

I ordered them online, and they're too big for me. I can return them, but I thought I'd see if anyone wanted them first because this size was tricky for me to find online. I'm just looking to get what I paid for them - $36 plus $5 shipping. Let me know if you want them!


20 June, 2012

Halfway and a Birthday!



20 weeks

I am officially at the halfway point of my pregnancy!! I can't believe this little girl has been with me for 20 whole weeks now. That's nuts! Hopefully, I have only 19 more to go because I'm still hoping for a Halloween baby.

Levi and I went in for our 20-week ultrasound on Monday, and it was awesome to see our little lady up on that screen. I was correct when I said that she's hanging out very very low. In fact, the technician laughed when she saw how low she was. She seriously couldn't get any lower. She's a burrower, I guess! I found out that I have an anterior placenta, which explains why I'm still waiting to feel a good, solid kick... I could be waiting awhile. I still feel her shifting around in there, but I want Levi to get to feel her too! Even though I'm not really feeling her too much, she is definitely very active. She looked like she was bucking and punching me with her little feet.

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(another 20-week shot from the same day)

We learned that I have a low-lying placenta, which isn't ideal, but it's not bad, especially at this point. The doctor was very confident that it will move up as my baby grows. I was just really happy to hear that it wasn't praevia, which means the placenta is either partially or fully covering the cervix. This requires a mandatory c-section. We also found out that the umbilical cord didn't attach itself to the ideal location of my placenta. It attached itself to a thinner part. I'm really not worried about any of this though. The doctor didn't seem concerned, so I won't be either! Still, between these two things and my stupid thyroid (I have cyst in my thyroid that takes up the entire left side - it's been there for years, and let me tell you, it is NOT comfortable. It's severely suppressing my TSH levels, but my T4 and T3 are only borderline hyper-thyroid), they're going to keep a bit of a closer eye on me and the baby just to be safe, which means I get to go in for another ultrasound in four weeks! I absolutely love seeing baby girl, so I am just fine with extra ultrasounds. Plus, I really like that my doctors are taking precautions to make sure my baby and I are healthy. I feel like we're in very good hands.

In other news, my birthday was on Sunday. This was, by far, the weirdest birthday I've ever had. I wasn't looking forward to it at all (I just didn't care, which is so unlike me), and it turned out to be a little bit depressing for several reasons. I was kinda happy when the day was over. Regardless, Levi and I had a really nice dinner with our friends, Will and Drew. It's always awesome to see those guys, and I was happy to spend part of my birthday with them. Also, we're having a bonfire at the end of the month to celebrate, so I'm looking forward to that as well!

My mom stopped by our house on my birthday morning to bring me flowers, a beautiful card, and a dozen hardboiled eggs... haha! She knows I like them a lot right now, so she made a batch for me and wrote "Happy Birthday, Jasi" across the shells. So sweet! And even sweeter - she gifted me with some items from my Amazon baby registry!!! Part of her order arrived yesterday! I was so excited to get my first baby gifts that I lined them up and took a picture:

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Our bottles are from mimijumi. They are AWESOME. Besides coming in an adorable milk carton and looking really cool, they're 100% BPA-, EA-, and latex-free. They're also designed to simulate a mother's breast, so they'll be a really nice complement to breastfeeding.

The book is illustrated by Julia Dennos, whose art I love, and the drying rack is from Boon. Baby stuff is so much fun. My latest (semi-stalkerish) hobby is perusing the Amazon baby registries of strangers, other bloggers, and pregnant friends... I love to see what everyone else is using for their babies. Try it... if you're weird like me, you'll have fun! ;)


15 June, 2012

19 Weeks!



Oh yeah! I have a blog! This post is going to be a pregnancy update, so I can remember some of the things going on at the midpoint when I look back on this whole crazy experience!

I am 19 weeks pregnant... almost halfway there. Everyone keeps saying, "I can't believe you're already 19 weeks!" And I want to respond with, "Really?! I feel like I've been pregnant for six years!" It simultaneously goes by quickly and slowly.

The "Bump"

I still don't have much of a bump, but here's the progression of what I do have. 

14 weeks:

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16 weeks:

16 weeks

18 weeks:

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The 18-week shot might be a little deceptive... I had just eaten a bunch of french toast. ;)

So far, it seems like I'm carrying her really really REALLY low and close to my spine. I still weigh a few pounds less than when I started, so there's definitely some room to grow!

Milestones

I'm going for walks much more regularly again! It's great. I really missed walking. When I got pregnant, Levi and I were taking an hour-long, fast-paced walk every night. I hope to get back up to that (and move beyond it) before I deliver, but I'm not pushing myself too hard. My main priority right now is to feel as good as possible.

I felt her for the first time around 15 weeks. It was really exciting! It felt like lots of tiny champagne bubbles popping, and it was very rhythmic. As soon as I realized it was baby, she, of course, stopped. I still feel the flutters from time to time, but I think I've gotten used to them, so I don't notice them as much anymore. I think she moves the most while I'm sleeping because I frequently have half-asleep dreams where I feel her shifting, then I wake up and feel her on one side of my belly. I also get lots of sharp pains low in my pelvis (where she likes to hang out), and I think that's her kicking and punching. I'm still waiting for a good solid kick!

We rented a fetal heart doppler a couple weeks ago, and that thing has been a lifesaver for me. It's only $20 a month (I got mine here and found a $5 off per month coupon code), and it gives me extreme peace of mind. I love hearing her super-fast little heartbeat. It sounds like a horse galloping.

Things I Really Like to Eat

soft pretzels
bananas
caramel rice cakes
coke slurpees
blue icees
strawberry chocolate chip pancakes
lemon pound cake from Starbucks
marshmallow/strawberry milkshakes
coconut shrimp
hardboiled eggs
french fries
grilled white corn on the cob

My cravings definitely lean toward the sweet side.

Symptoms

lower back pain (I swear she's dancing on my spine)
nose bleeds
crazy, severe itching attacks on my breasts, armpits, and neck
round ligament pains
dizziness
terrible balance

Besides the itching, none of these things bother me too much. I was getting really intense headaches every day for awhile, but those have eased, and my dizziness isn't as bad lately either. This week has actually been really great! I've felt pretty good and had a decent amount of energy every day so far (except for my 40-hour itching episode... that was tough). I spent a lot of time walking outside on Wednesday with Levi and even baked cookies that night! That has been my best day of pregnancy so far, and I loved every second of it.

And that's about it! We have a doctor's appointment and our growth and anatomy scan on Monday morning where they'll measure her and confirm (again) that she is, in fact, a she. I'm really looking forward to seeing her tumbling around on the screen. I already think she's the cutest and have assessed her personality based on how she behaves in ultrasounds (she seems really confident and self-assured to me)... I might be reading into things a bit much. I just really really like that girl.

02 June, 2012

Kim's Birthday and Sabrina



Over Memorial Day weekend, Kim celebrated her birthday. And we celebrated with her by joining her at a screening of Sabrina at Hollywood Forever! For those of you who don't live in the LA area, Hollywood Forever is a cemetery. During the summer, they screen movies on an open lawn. Everyone brings blankets, picnics, and lawn chairs and settles in for a movie under the stars. It's pretty cool! Levi and I had never been before, but I've wanted to go for ages.

We both love Kim (and her boyfriend, André) so much, so it was great to celebrate with her! Seriously, they are the NICEST people I know... I'm not sure how they do that, but I should take some lessons from the two of them. ;)

André baked a big cake for the occasion and packed little goodie bags with potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. They also had wine and yummy cheeses for the non-pregnant to enjoy... let me tell you, I was jealous. I even took a big long whiff of Levi's glass of red wine. Mmm. Smelled so good!

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My photos didn't turn out so hot (it was getting pretty dark by the time we arrived), but you can check out the photos André took here.

Now that those two are out of school for summer, we hope to be seeing a lot more of them!!


24 May, 2012

Pregnancy Resources



I know I talk a lot about being pregnant these days. I really never thought I'd turn into someone who could talk about nothing else, but pregnancy is all-consuming right now. I'm still not feeling very well; therefore, I'm still not doing a whole lot, which is really frustrating (and kinda boring). I have high hopes of retaining my individuality as a woman when I become a mother, and I think pregnancy is a good place to start. But for now, while my life is fairly dull, I'll blog about pregnancy.

Annnnyway, I knew once I revealed this news that I really wanted to do a blog post about health insurance and a great morning sickness resource I discovered during my first trimester. Exciting stuff, yes?! The content may be a little dull, but I hope it can help someone who finds herself in a similar situation to me.

Levi and I are both independently contracted and essentially run our own businesses (Levi definitely runs his own business and does all his own taxes; I get 1099ed when I work). We both really love this, but it comes with a price - no health insurance for us... well, no company help with health insurance anyway. We could get private insurance, but we can't afford it, and every plan I've looked into says, "maternity not covered." Mind blowing! 

So when we decided to start trying for a baby, I began researching options for us. I knew we wouldn't qualify for MediCal or Medicare. The income limits are very very low. Back in our really tough financial times, we might have been able to qualify for it, but that's not the case now. This is awesome! We're moving up in the world. We're making good decisions. We're growing up (finally). But this also left us without any health care options, or so I thought! I ended up learning about a California program called Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM). It's for middle-income pregnant women without health insurance or with private policies with high deductibles.

I did all my research before getting pregnant to make sure we qualified, and we did! Once we obtained proof of pregnancy from a local clinic, we were able to apply for the program. We were so freaking excited when we got our approval letter!! The program is awesome. It isn't free, but the monthly rates are very reasonable and are based on your income. And I honestly really like that we pay for it. It makes me value it more. With that said, we don't have to pay any copayments or deductibles, and our plan covers everything. It is such a huge relief to have this taken care of, and once our baby is born, she'll be put into an insurance program as well. I know this a California program, so if you're living in another state without health coverage, this information probably doesn't help you much. But I do encourage you to find out if your state has any similar programs. Finding AIM took a little bit of digging, but I'm obviously so happy I found it.

The other resource I'd like to share is Motherisk, which is a "clinical research and teaching program at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that provides information and guidance to pregnant and lactating women and to health care professionals" (taken from Wikipedia). They have a number of helplines you can call where you can talk to counselors about things like morning sickness, alcohol and substance use, and HIV in pregnancy. All for free. Basically, they are Canadian angels.

I called the morning sickness helpline while I was in bed during my first trimester, sick, miserable, and desperate. The counselor I spoke with took down all my information and asked me a ton of questions, including, "How would you rate your quality of life right now on a scale of 1-10?" After she had a clear picture of what was going on with me, she came up with a plan to help me feel better and to have a higher quality of life. She advised me on when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat, foods to avoid, vitamins I could try, medications that were safe to take, and what I could drink. She figured out really quickly that I had really bad acid reflux (I had no idea since I had never experienced it before), and she helped me come up with a plan of attack. She also said she would call to check on me again on Monday... and then guess what? She did! She called to check on me! On Monday! With all my information in front of her! At this point, I was still waiting for my insurance approval, so it was really nice to feel cared for and to have someone helping me through this trying time. They continued to check up on me and tweak my plan according to how my symptoms were changing. Everyone I spoke with at Motherisk was caring, kind, and competent. They reassured me about the safety of the over-the-coutner drugs they suggested, and they also directed me to pages on their website with studies done on the effects of individual medications in pregnancy. I can't say enough great things about Motherisk. They helped me so much. I really would have wasted away without the help they provided since I was unable to eat or keep anything down. They're very reliable and trustworthy, and their counselors do wonderful work. Levi and I intend to make a donation after our daughter is born.

So, there you have it! Not the most exciting post, but I really hope this information can be helpful to someone! I'm not exaggerating when I say that both programs have been lifesavers for me.


23 May, 2012

19 May, 2012

My First and Only Unofficial Mother's Day



Even though I'm not officially a mother yet, we celebrated Mother's Day. We called it my first and only unofficial Mother's Day... because after this one, they'll all be official! That's so weird.

Levi gave me a really sweet present in the morning.

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Then, we went to the beach and got strips... it's all I wanted.

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We planned on staying out longer, but I got tired, so we went home. That night, we walked down to Peet's and played Pass the Pigs with an iced chocolate milk (I pretend it's an iced mocha).

It was the perfect day for this woman!

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This is the closest thing I have to a baby bump... it's more of a lump or a blob or a bloat. And yes, I cropped off the top of this picture because my hair looked SO incredibly horrible. It's better now.

Happy belated Mother's Day to all you mommas and moms-to-be! And happy Mother's Day again to my own mom! We had the best time celebrating with you on Monday. :)

P.S. We get to find out on Monday if we are having a little boy or a little girl! Yay!!!!


17 May, 2012

A little late, but whatever.



I never finished blogging about our December trip to San Francisco because life got insane after we got home. I don't need to blog about it, but I love having this blog because it helps me remember so many events in my life, so I'm going to do one last post with a mish-mash of our photos.

This trip was kind of significant because we made a lot of important decisions on it. We actually thought I might be pregnant while I was there (we weren't trying at all... this would have been an accident). On our last day, we found out that I wasn't, and I was completely devastated. So we spent our last day wandering around the city in a funk, discussing the future. I knew I couldn't go back to how things were before, so we decided that I was going to quit my job, and we were going to start trying to get pregnant. How's that for a big last day in San Francisco??!

So anyway, here's the last couple days of our trip:

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We had the most amazing lunch at Arlequin Café in Hayes Valley. They had a little garden seating area behind the restaurant, and it was perfect - serene, beautiful, comfortable. Those donuts you see are brioche donuts. The best flavors were passion fruit and chocolate espresso. Ohhhhh, I wish I had some right now!!

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We each bought new coats.

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We took a little trip down to the Presidio and played on the beach.

And those were our last couple days in SF! I love that city with all my heart, and I can't wait 'til I go back.

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