Saturday, February 23, 2019

PREGNANCY | Third Trimester Update

Well, if you've been following me on social media you know that we welcomed our little one nearly three weeks early on Sunday, February 10th. But, if you know me then you know I am way too OCD to not do a third trimester post to complete the series. I am also in the process of writing out West's birth story in between feedings (the struggle is real!) so hopefully I will finish before his first birthday (I'm mostly joking). 

35 weeks | @ San Juan Capistrano

Let me try to reconstruct how I felt the past three months. I had lots of heartburn the last trimester and had to consistently take tums every single night. Jake got pretty sick about a month ago, so I started sleeping on the couch so I wouldn't get whatever he had, and I found out our couch is actually pretty comfortable. It was funny because I tried to go back and sleep in our bedroom after a few nights on the couch and ended up sleeping on the couch because it felt more comfortable. I did eventually go back to sleeping in the bedroom and a few days after that, my water broke. More on that in my birth story!

@ 28 weeks | Belmont Shore
Fatigue - I started to get very tired and could barely get comfortable. I had been working some long hours in the days before he was born and my body was getting pretty sore after sitting in a chair for 8-10 hours without a walk break in between. Have you ever gotten up from your chair and felt like a baby taking his first steps? Or felt like, wow, I'm sore, what workout did I do, only to realize that you haven't been to the gym in months? Yep. That was me.

Nausea - This came back with a bit of a vengeance in the third trimester for me. Towards the end, I felt pretty nauseous and had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to eat. I drank a lot of jamba juice smoothies, and we made taco bowls and salads in the last few weeks before baby arrived. 

Cravings - Smoothies (PB chocolate love) from jamba juice, yogurt covered pretzels, Trader Joe's spinach and artichoke dip, Trader Joe's wild mushroom and black truffle flatbread, milk and girl scout cookies! 

Growing Pains - My belly definitely felt ginormous towards the end (and he was 3 weeks early, I can't imagine going to full term); it got increasingly hard to breathe and bend down to pick up something off the floor or to wipe down the shower glass. Jake gave me foot rubs on request and I think that definitely helped me feel better. I don't know if I ever felt contractions (Braxton Hicks or the real deal) until we got to the hospital and my water was broken. I felt the baby move often but I had anterior placenta which made it difficult to do kick counts so I paid more attention to feeling for movement each day. 


We were trying to be very present at Christmas and enjoy our last holiday before baby arrived but it was so hard because we just wanted him to be here already! We picked out our Christmas tree and decided to make a conscious decision not to get anything for baby for Christmas because he wasn't born yet! So hard, but I'm so glad we waited to start buying gifts for him. Now I need to start thinking about baby's first ornament for Christmas 2019! 

Picking out our Christmas Tree! (I have the same pose in every picture!) 
We had a little baby shower in mid-January at our home and it was so cozy and intimate. Thank you to all of my neighbors and and special shoutout to our friends Jenna and Jon who drove up from San Diego for the day! Having the baby shower made it all seem a bit more real. We weren't able to do a baby shower in Seattle where many of our friends and family are since I couldn't travel after 20 weeks due to high risk of pre-term labor. 

My emotions were definitely going crazy towards the end and I felt myself cry many times for no apparent reason (that I knew of that is). I read a few childbirth books and subscribed to two or three pregnancy apps but at some point each day as my due date neared, I would worry about labor and kind of freak myself out. I told myself that everyone does it and it's just a part of life. That calmed me down a bit. I had worked on a birth plan and was supposed to go over it with the doctor on Monday (at my 37 week appointment), but baby West had other plans! I still brought the birth plan to the hospital when I went into labor and we mostly followed it, but I'm not sure if it was ever officially entered into their system or not. 


I believe I ended up gaining 26 lbs which is right on target with what I was supposed to gain. So far I am down 12 lbs, so let's hope this trend continues with breastfeeding. I am trying not to eat everything in sight but it's a struggle. I feel like I am always starving! 


Refer back to 'How I Felt Physically' section and also know that I woke up about 4-5x a night to pee. Basically, once I got back into bed, it felt like I had to pee again! That was one of the worst parts of pregnancy for me, feeling like I couldn't empty my bladder. Did anyone else feel that way? TMI? Well, guess what after having a baby nothing seems TMI to talk about. Baby poop? Hemorrhoids? What else should  we discuss??? 


I have three pairs of maternity leggings which I have been (and continue to) rotating through so we have to do laundry every few days or I don't have any clothes to wear. Could pregnancy be any more glamorous? I resisted buying too much maternity wear and I am thankful that I lean more towards the minimalist side of things since the last thing I need are more clothes. I have been wanting to purge my closet Marie Kondo style (again) but I decided that would be a bad idea when I can't fit in 80-90% of the stuff in there. I will reserve that task for after I lose the baby weight. 


Daily walks with the dog. That about sums up what I've been able to commit to and I'm okay with that. Once our schedule gets a little less hectic with breastfeeding then I will be able to start working out more and working on getting back into shape. I am in a wedding this summer so that should be some good motivation for me to get a head start. 

My last BUMP photo! | 36w6d | (4 days before he was born) 

Well, since he is technically already here I can't say once baby arrives. But we are taking newborn photos (at home) in March, so I think that may be the one thing I am looking forward to the most. And having all of our guests meet baby -- we have a bunch of friends and family coming to visit next month and I am so excited for them to snuggle with my West-ie! 


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

PREGNANCY | Second Trimester Update

Since tomorrow marks the start of my third trimester (how?!), I thought it made sense to do a little 2nd trimester update. I feel like my second trimester went by even faster than my first and with the holidays, I have a feeling that the next three months will fly by even faster. EEK! Some days I panic and feel like I should start packing my hospital bag but other times I feel like February 28th is so far away and I would be fine even if I didn't even have a hospital bag ready. It's crazy to think that our son will be born in Southern California - which is another thing (like buying our first house) that will always tie us to this state no matter where we live.

21 weeks / Over halfway there! 


Generally, I have felt so much better in the second trimester than the first. Some days I didn't even feel pregnant other than noticing my ever growing belly. I haven't taken as many naps as I did in the first three months, but have been making sure I don't work too many 12 hour days and trying to just rest when I need to. We haven't been going to bed as early as we were either but hopefully on the nights Jake doesn't teach we can start going to bed earlier again so I can get my 8+hours of sleep while I still can!

Nausea - little to none

Fatigue - My belly is getting larger by the day and I am starting to get uncomfortable in certain positions - sitting too long, trying to shave my legs, bending down to feed the dog... you get the idea. I spilled some pasta sauce while making dinner tonight and luckily Olive was right there to lick it up. Yeah, the odds of me bending down to try and clean it up were slim to none, hah...

Cravings - sweets (my sweet tooth is back!) / acai bowls / sandwiches / fiber one cereal / snack lunches - apples, cheese and pretzels / iced coffee / carbs / sugar cookies! 

Growing Pains - a few round ligament pains, but nothing super painful. Just the usual random stretching sensations and pulling. 


I have been WAY more emotional these past few months. I can cry at the drop of a hat - or watching a commercial, just by Jake suggest something or by looking at all our baby clothes in the closet. And even putting together the crib, I had to hold back tears. Feeling kicks has been so wild too! At first it was hard to differentiate if something was a kick or just my usual stomach sounds, around 24-25 weeks or so, it became undeniable that I was feeling a kick. I have anterior placenta so according to the doctor, the baby has to kick twice as hard for me to feel him. But, I have definitely been feeling him. He moves the most at night, just as I am trying to fall asleep. I've read that is not unusual. And exciting news, Jake has been trying to feel kicks for awhile now and he finally confirmed that he definitely felt a kick on Monday night as I was falling asleep. I am sure the kicks will only get stronger from here. Gah, I am almost tearing up just typing this. See! 

My brother and his wife came to visit in early October and it was so special to show them Long Beach! 


I feel like I have generally been eating healthy except for a few birthday and holiday splurges occasionally. The last time I weighed myself last week, I was up 15 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight. Per my discussion with the doctor, my goal is to gain 20-25 lbs so hopefully I can stay in that range. I've heard the weight packs on in the 3rd trimester so we'll see how that goes... I think just keeping a number in mind will help me not gain as much weight as if I didn't pay any attention to it ((fingers crossed))! 


Ehhhh ok. I still haven't invested in a pregnancy pillow, but I still use a pillow between my legs and I have this one pillow that I use on my side to kind of keep me laying on my side and it has been working pretty well. I get up about 4-5x a night to pee and whenever I wake up on my back, I readjust so that I go back to sleep on my side. I read a lot online that you are supposed to sleep on the left side, but my doctor says either left or right side is OK. Phew! One less thing to worry about! 
Baby feet! At 20 week ultrasound 


I broke down and bought 8 pairs of maternity shorts (they were $3 each! I originally wanted 10 pairs so I had 5 of each size) so have been living in those. I am starting to get a bit cold, so also ordered a few pairs of maternity leggings from Kohl's randomly - the shorts are from there too. I have a couple nursing bras so I am ready when the time comes and I think thats all I've bought this trimester. I may buy another couple maternity dresses for the 3rd trimester but other than that, I don't plan on buying much more maternity. 


As I mentioned in my last update, we have been going on 1-2 walks a day with the dog. That is essentially the main way I am getting my exercise this trimester. Sometimes we go on longer 45 minute walks but during the week, its usually closer to 20-30 minutes. While I wish I felt like working out more, I don't really and I am not beating myself up about it. It is what it is. 
26 weeks / 11-22-18


We've actually started working on the nursery! Not too long ago, it was still in the planning stages. Now we have a rug and a crib! More on my Instagram stories if you want to see some sneak peaks. I ordered removable tile wallpaper which we will plan on hanging during Christmas break and I think that will really make it feel like a nursery! I am proud of myself for not going out and buying 89375862387 baby clothes but I did go a little crazy on Black Friday. I ordered 4 things from Old Navy and I asked Jake how much he thought they cost. He said $10... and I was like well, no... a little higher. Haha... I got 2 zipper onesies, a pair of pants and a bodysuit for $30. That is a score!

And the carseat arrived last weekend which makes it seem so much more real! We have not installed it in the car yet, we are debating if we should install it in our current car or wait until our new car arrives in late January. More to come there!

We also picked out and met our pediatrician (only 5 min from our house!) and I am going to a breastfeeding class tomorrow night. I feel like I can never learn enough about that -- and knowledge is power!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

PREGNANCY | First Trimester Update

Since the secret is finally out that we are expecting a baby boy in February (!) I am so excited to start blogging again. I'm not sure how often these posts will be but I figured I would do an update since it feels like crickets over here. I miss writing and it feels so good to just journal and write everything out. It's very therapeutic for me. As you can imagine, most of our house projects are on hold with the new addition on the way. One thing we did do is buy 18 bags of landscaping mexican beach pebble rock (and we still need more!) for the front of the house. I will share more photos on that later once it's finished. 

(13 week ultrasound) 

Back to what you came here for.... Generally the first trimester ends around week 13 although many of my apps said different things - one said it ended once you reach 12 weeks, another said 14 weeks, another said it ends once the placenta is formed. So let's just say the end of August/beginning of September is when I considered that the first trimester was over and the second was beginning. I love when things correlate to the month end/beginning. Yes, I am one of those weird people. 


Nausea - I only threw up a few times (thank god because that is the worst feeling in the world to me) but I had a lot of food aversions - meat, vegetables, spices, things I normally ate like sweets didn't sound appealing which is crazy because I am normally a DESSERT QUEEN.

Fatigue - I was very tired in the first trimester and needed to nap almost daily. Sometimes I would take two naps in one day. I have been trying to really listen to my body and give it what it needs so that I am not overdoing it. 

Cravings - watermelon / thai food / ramen / mexican food / Taco Bell (what?!?) / doritos / carbs /toast with butter and jam / yogurt and granola 

Growing Pains - I only started to feel these towards the end of my first trimester and they would be this weird pulling sensation on the sides of my stomach. I've had very minor cramps every so often but nothing else has really happened other than my belly slowly swelling, so far so good! 

Sense of Smell - This was one of my first symptoms and it was the weirdest thing! When taking a shower, I could really smell the coconut body wash very strongly (way more than I had in the past), when I traveled, the bathrooms smelled even worse than usual (uh, yuck!) and I just had a heightened sense of smell for practically everything. I would like this symptom to go away but I've heard it may stick around the entire pregnancy. 


I think the biggest thing I felt was relief that we made it to the end of the first trimester (and even just  another week as we were progressing). It is always a tough time worrying about what could go wrong, but I realized that when we made it to the end, we were that much closer to actually spilling the beans and telling the world (since our close friends and family already knew) our big news. So, overall a strong sense of relief was my biggest emotion this trimester. 


3 lbs. I did lose some weight at the beginning because of all my food aversions and the fact that I stopped drinking alcohol. So, it's been nice to feel like I have a fresh start and things aren't getting out of control (al least not yet! Ha!). 


Not great but not terrible. I have always been a side sleeper but they encourage you to sleep on your left side if you can which is the best position for baby getting blood flow (I think). I have been debating getting a pregnancy pillow but many friends said they weren't very helpful and they are kind of pricey so I am thinking of skipping it unless I get really uncomfortable towards the end. For now, I have been using a pillow between my legs and that helps to relieve pressure on my hips. 


I bought a few maternity items a couple weeks ago so I would have them ready when I need them. I've worn them a bit here and there but I am just starting to feel like my clothes don't fit now @ 17 weeks. I bought a dress and some tops from ASOS and a few tanks from Old Navy. I am debating getting a pair of yoga pants but have been living in dresses - one of the perks of living in Southern Cal is that I don't have to worry about changing out my wardrobe for the fall/winter.


We've been going to a Yoga class at the Y pretty religiously for about a year now. But, when I told the instructor the news, she mentioned she didn't know much about pregnancy and yoga and suggested that I try a pre-natal pregnancy class since there are certain things you should avoid like laying on your back and poses when you are twisting intensely. A new yoga studio opened up pretty close to our house, but they don't offer prenatal yoga -- yet. So, I am lacking in this area. We do take at least one (sometimes two walks a day) with the dog, so I am moving but not quite as much as I would like. Will keep working on this one! 


Starting to really plan and design the nursery! Finding out the gender this week was a huge milestone for us. Although I am planning a pretty gender neutral nursery anyway, knowing the gender makes me want to go out and start buying ALL OF THE THINGS! I will be sharing my plans and inspiration in the coming weeks. 

That's it for now! 


Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Fresh Exterior

Ever since we initally laid eyes on our first home, we knew it would need some exterior work to modernize it. I had big ideas of repainting it a brighter white, changing the trim from brown to black, and perhaps replacing the roof with a black or grey one. But, alas $$$$$. Then I went onto a Houzz forum asking for recommendations and surprisingly people had so many great ideas that weren't as expensive or drastic as I had initially envisioned.

From the Houzz forum, people suggested the following:

  • We could update the door and paint it a fun color.
  • We could pull out the bushes (that were probably 40 years old) and replace them with something more modern like a century plant and succulents which are pretty popular here in Southern California. 
  • We could change or remove the "fence" on the front porch. 
  • We could update the hardscaping - to my surprise this was a little pricey so we held off on doing this for now.

So in honor of our one year anniversary, I wanted to share some progress updates on the exterior that we did. 

First, we got a new mid-century inspired door installed. That was a HUGE update! Then we painted said door Benjamin Moore Naples blue. I think this was the update that had the biggest impact. We also got a RING doorbell and a new more sleek, modern mailbox.

Then we (read: Jake) tore out the old bushes and took our time deciding what to do next. We thought about snake plants, succulents, river rock, etc. We thought about removing (or redoing) the small hardscape wall in front of the house but decided against it for now since it looks OK. Eventually we might remove and/or redo it. We will have to wait and see.

This spring, we started researching landscaping. After looking online, we quickly realized that there were typically two options:

Consult with a landscape designer to design a custom front and backyard, which typically comes at a higher cost than we were looking to spend.


Visit a nursery, pick out plants, and plant them (more of a DIY route). 

Then we found Moon Valley Nurseries in Huntington Beach via a Google search. The first thing we liked about the website was you can upload a picture of your yard and add plants from the website to the picture...we had a little too much fun with this tool, as you can imagine. We went to the nursery on a Saturday to start planning our project. We then spent the first part of the design meeting talking about our style, plant and color ideas, and what areas of the yard we wanted to landscape (front, side and backyard).  Next, we went out to the actual nursery and looked at a variety of plants. Jake and I both had so much fun picking out the different plants and determining where they would be planted.

We had a good idea about what we wanted from the beginning, but our designer recommended some plants that we had never heard of which ultimately ended up being our very favorite plants of the whole project! As we selected our plants, they were tagged with our name so we knew exactly which plants were ours. I'm pretty sure this was the best day of Jake's life (so far).  We also got four bougainvillea for the back white stucco wall and decided to go for an Italian villa vibe. We still need to get uplighting for those, but I will share some backyard updates once we decide on our long term outdoor furniture and layout. I never knew how fun (!!), but also a bit stressful and draining owning our house would be. I wouldn't trade it for anything though!


AFTER (1 year progress):

How long we plan to live in this house is another big consideration that we are mulling over before we start spending all of our money customizing the house even further. I had a dream last night that we were putting in a pool! That is something I am considering very strongly but we are not going to move forward with that until we know we want to stay here for awhile.

I've learned that the house to do list is endless and realistically, will probably always be a mile long. So part of the process is just embracing and realizing that the house will never be perfect. But, to be cliche, it's about the journey, not the destination, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself.



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