Archive | April, 2011

Holidays without kids

25 Apr

I love holiday traditions! One of the best things about living abroad is being able to partake in new traditions and share my own. When we were first married, it was fun for hubs and I to build new holiday traditions–I learned about his culture and it’s many winter holidays and I taught him about Santa Claus.  Easter is one of the most beautiful holidays he has shared with me–but it just isn’t the same with just the two of us here.

Now that we’ve shared our traditions and built some of our own, the last couple of years have been pretty lax.  We have built a new home together but away from family, so we often spend the holidays just the two of us together. On Thanksgiving we cook something turkey related, but it might just be a turkey breast or turkey meatballs. Christmas is spent with my family either here or back home.  Easter includes some hard-boiled eggs and maybe Easter bread.  Take today – we had a video shoot for our business this morning and then we picked up some sushi (California rolls), 5-layer dip & chips, some chocolate cake and an oven-pizza. That’s our Easter feast 🙂  Aside from the random candy I’ve picked up over the past few weeks, there has been very little tradition. Going to our church is a pain – it’s a drive, plus no parking, plus we don’t know anyone and feel strange hanging out with grandpas & grandmas. Maybe once baby is here we’ll re-connect with those traditions, but it may be more of a hassle.

All year I’ve had this strange feeling–even before I was pregnant–that it is time for the new generation.  Traditions are no fun if they’re just for the sake of routine. Traditions are best shared and I can’t wait to share our mixed languages, mixed cultures and our family traditions with our child. And to see all the fun–Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, egg hunts and pumpkin pie. . .through the eyes of a child.

And so this is one of the last holidays without kids.  I don’t feel guilty indulging my cravings for sushi and just chillin’ today. Soon enough we’ll have reason to make a fanfare over each little holiday and for that, I’m excited!


Bumpdate: 21 weeks

23 Apr

Bumpdate: 21 Weeks

Due Date: Early September 2011. 19-ish weeks to go!

Weight Gain: Up about 14 pounds.  It’s amazing how it fluctuates day-by-day. In general, I’m up a few more than 10 pounds.

Symptoms: A big belly! Finally my skin is getting better (not sure if it’s hormones or the tea tree oil I picked up) and my energy is generally ok again.  I still have tailbone pain but we got an exercise ball that is nice to sit on.  Occasional round ligament pain when I move too quickly. But in general, I’m feelin’ good!

Cravings/Aversions: Easter candy 😉

Sleep: is wonderful! I still sleep a lot and I do sleep through the night but I noticed that I’ll wake myself up if I need to turn over. I have a vague recollection of rolling over last night and cramping my belly (lower right side often has little cramps – I think it’s round ligament pain). A quick massage and I was sound asleep again.

I am loving: feeling his movement!

I miss: umm. . . my life hasn’t changed a ton. One thing that I enjoy that I’m not supposed to have is runny eggs. Now I scramble them 🙂

I am looking forward to: I have a lot of big things going on this spring with my career – I’m excited for a presentation I’m giving and a job application I’m turning in.  Life goes on, even if I’m pregnant. I’m excited to continue growing my career and family and becoming a real, true adult 🙂

I’m freaking out about: Names! Still struggling. Sigh 😦

Best moment this week: Feeling baby. It’s so fun to be going along with my day and get a little reminder he’s there!

Milestones: This little boy is growing – he’s the size of a banana and my belly is growing, growing, growing!

Movement: Lots of little kicks and brushes against my belly. Now that it’s started, I now have months of increasingly strong kicks to come 🙂

It’s a…: boy! boy! boy! I’m still getting used to it!

Exercise: Umm, yeah. Still doing my best to stay active without getting tired.

Diet: Easter candy? Tonight it’s omelettes with salmon – yum!

Goals for the upcoming week: Register for birth classes. Get on the daycare waiting list for next Spring at my university.

Belly Shot: 

Little fishies

22 Apr

They say you should start feeling baby at 18-20 weeks. By 20 weeks I had had a few ‘is that him–or just gas?’ moments, but nothing for sure. But just a few days into week 20 it started: little fishies are definitely swimming!

At first, it was just that: the feeling of a little fish pressing against my belly from the inside. Once it started, it has been a regular occurrence and within just a few days has progressed into kicks. When we had our 20wk ultrasound he showed off his acrobatic skills lifting his toes to his face. Now I’m feeling his acrobatics throughout the day–especially when I first lay down in the evening.

Feeling him makes it more real. Until I glance at my ever-growing belly in the mirror or get a little kick it is hard to believe that I am actually pregnant. It is such a precious thing… Yet ordinary life continues at the same time. Grading. Reading. Cooking. Cleaning. Sometimes I want to just put everything on hold and bask in this life growing inside me!!

Bumpdate: 20 Weeks

17 Apr

Bumpdate: 20 Weeks

Due Date: Early September 2011. 20-ish weeks to go!

Weight Gain: Up 12-14 pounds.  I really went up in weight this week, but I’m not eating differently so it must be baby.

Symptoms: Yucky skin – when will I get the pregnancy glow?

Sleep: Mmmm, sleep. I’m enjoying it while I can 🙂

I am loving: baby’s cute face! We had the anatomy scan today and he’s not only healthy but cute!!

Best moment this week: Of course, seeing him on the ultrasound! When the sonographer first put the wand on my belly, his feet were up by his head. I’m finally feeling him move around and he’s just becoming such a part of our life ❤

Milestones: Apparently this little man is the size of a cantaloupe! No wonder my belly is actually protruding!

Movement: Finally he has made himself known–after a few weeks with the occasional – “wait-was that something” moments, I’ve felt him several times. Mostly when I’m sitting down and kind of bent forward I feel something like a little fish swimming in my belly. Felt it yesterday and today. . 5 more moths of it 🙂

It’s… definitely a boy!!! this week’s ultrasound left us with no question 🙂  Isn’t he cute:

Exercise: umm, nothing regular but I’m conscious of moving and stretching. If I’m too still for a day the tailbone pain comes back.

Diet: Pho! We’ve had Vietnamese takeout twice this week 🙂 It has been rainy and yucky and Pho is just so goood!

Belly Shot: I took one yesterday on my new iphone (I’m loving it’s camera already)! Enjoy:

Bumpdate: 19 weeks

9 Apr

Bumpdate: 19 Weeks

Due Date: Early September 2011. 21-ish weeks to go!

Weight Gain: Up about 10 pounds.  We finally got a scale, so it’s kind of fun to watch my weight rise gradually. I hope I don’t freak out as it climbs-climb-climbs.

Symptoms: Still get moments of extreme tiredness.  Also the tailbone pain gets me sometimes. I was really dumb and fell down earlier this week getting into an elevator (really, who does that?!) so I have a big bruise on my knee and it yanked my tailbone, too. I just gotta remember to take it slow–my growing belly changes my center of balance.

Cravings/Aversions: chocolate! I definitely have a chocolate craving at least once a day, but I’m packing around good healthy snacks to re-direct my cravings.  Sure, I allow myself to indulge in small amounts, but I’ve noticed that if I OD on sugar, I feel it.

Sleep: I didn’t get much sleep this week–I’m adjusting to the early mornings and although I’m pretty tired in the afternoons, I’ve still managed to stay up later doing work/watching TV. It was heaven to sleep in today, but I’ve also noticed that too much sleep seems to make me headache-y, so it’s all about balance.

I am loving: This new “bump” – I’m finally looking pregnant and not just chubby. I had to get maternity jeans the other day–I had a long day on campus and after sitting down all day, I realized that my jeans needed to be widened even further (I’m using the handy-dandy hair-tie looped around the jeans button trick) and that the button and zipper were just bulky and uncomfortable. The maternity jeans now leave me with the sensation that my pants are falling down because the jean fabric is cut so low. . .maybe I’ll just live in yoga pants?

Milestones: The pregnancy is beginning to show! I’d say I’ve ‘popped’ this week. I have yet to have strangers on the street notice–and I don’t look pregnant in all clothing, but my belly is big enough that I need to pay attention to it.

Movement: I’ve had a few “umm, was that baby?” moments, but nothing for sure. I’m sure I’ll feel him soon enough!

Exercise: We went for a walk today at this cool wildlife park, but ended up just taking pictures of hummingbirds. Oops!

Goals for the upcoming week: This is a busy one–I’m talking to my director about plans for next fall and we have our 20-week anatomy scan. We’ll get another peek at our boy on Thursday!

Belly Shot: We took real belly pics today:

Baby Names

2 Apr

We’re almost halfway to this baby’s entrance in the world and yet we’ve done little more than emotionally plan. Of course, once I found out I was pregnant, I immediately started taking pre-natal vitamins.  I’ve tried to make better food choices and avoid chemicals and other bad products in my life. I’ve been regularly visiting my midwife. I’ve gotten plenty of rest and I drink lots of water.  I’m doing everything I can for this baby to develop healthily and happily.

But as far as material things, we’ve bought virtually nothing (just a turquoise storage bin to store the onsie and bibs my mom sent, the 2 cute outfits I got on clearance at Old Navy and the stash of Target Gift Cards I’m buying whenever we have a windfall–i.e. a payment from hubs’s business).  I’m not worried about “stuff” as we live in a pretty small 2-bedroom apartment, and, well, babies don’t need much. We’ll get to the stuff-buying when we get a little closer.

My days and nights are spent agonizing over this little one’s NAME.  I’ve realized that I’m really opinionated about names–especially boy’s names.  For a girl, I have a list of wonderful names that fit my rules (American, but sound good in Russian, ends in an A, not-over used and not made-up). But for boys, it is hard to find classic names that aren’t boring or over-used.  My family history gives a bunch of weird Norwegian names or boring British names.  Hubs doesn’t want a Russian name–but if it’s American it still has to sound good in Russian (and not like you’d name a dog). As I go through lists, I immediately tie the name to adjectives like “douche” or “tool”–not a good association for your future son.

But after weeks of searching and literally, spending hours on the computer/ipad researching names. . .we’ve got a short list of 2 names that don’t suck. It would be nice to expand the list and then just play with then names. Full name (First-Middle-Last; First-Last; English nicknames, Russian nicknames). . .and see if one sticks.  If not, we’d have a shortlist at birth to see which suits him best.

My brother was born about 6 weeks premature and we had no name for him (I was 7 at the time). I remember thinking and searching and talking in the hospital trying to name “Baby Boy Lastname” –he had to have something before my parents left he hospital.  It would be nice for our baby boy to have a name from birth, if not before.  I just worry that if we do choose–we’ll have a hard time keeping the secret 🙂

Bumpdate: 18 weeks

1 Apr

Bumpdate: 18 Weeks

Due Date: Early September 2011. 22-ish weeks to go!

Symptoms: Tailbone pain here & there, round ligament pain (that’s like a cramp in my lower stomach) occasionally. Very few little reminders that someone’s in there.

Sleep: Very random this week–school started and I teach at 8:30 am so I’ve been adjusting to early mornings.  I haven’t been doing too well–staying up late & not getting enough sleep which while pregnant = headaches. No fun! But I think I’ll get into a routine soon enough.

I am loving: being “out” to the world. Finally told classmates, Facebook, etc. . .so it’s an open fact that we’re expecting a bundle of joy. As tempting as it was to keep it a secret ’till baby is born, it is really nice to have it out there.  Plus, I’m finding unexpected support and joy from friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

I miss: Being lazy–it was nice all spring break to sleep when I wanted, eat when I wanted, etc. Now I have to be aware of my schedule and my body so I don’t make myself sick.

I am looking forward to: feeling him inside–I’ve had a few moments where I catch a little flutter or nudge here or there, but you just don’t know. Anytime I should start to feel him–so I can’t wait ’till that becomes a part of my day.

Best moment this week: Telling everyone! So much support and joy!

Milestones: He’s getting bigger & bigger! Our little man is the size of a sweet potato!

Movement: Anytime. . haven’t felt anything for sure but a few maybes. . .

Goals for the upcoming week: Get into a routine with eating, sleeping, etc and avoid headaches.  Kiss my husband often and be in a better mood this week 🙂

Belly Shot: Love how this terribly-cropped shot shows off my bump but hides my identity 😉