Conversations with my Niece

Due date has come and gone and guess who's still pregnant?  Me.  Womp womp.  This little baby is just taking his/her sweet time making an appearance, I guess.  We have an induction date on the calendar now "just in case" but my doc thinks we probably won't need it.  Hopefully Baby T will get the memo soon on come on their own but, I have to admit, it is a bit comforting know there's an end date in sight no matter what.  Fingers crossed!

In preparation for a little one coming to live with us very soon, I thought I'd share a few funny little tidbits from my niece.  Just some random quotes I've been writing down the last few months when we've hung out with her.  Kids say the darnedest things, don't they?

With a very serious look on her face, while in the bathroom at the Academy of Sciences:

"You have a baby in your belly, Zia.  Did you know that?"

* * *

After I offered her some cheese for a snack one Sunday afternoon:

"Well... I have a very good memory and I only eat cheese on Wednesday and Friday."

Her mother was equally confused and entertained by this random factoid.

(Sidenote - she was beginning every sentence with "well..." that day.)

* * *

In reference to a Land Before Time movie:

"I'm so disappointed, Zia."

Me: Really?  Why are you disappointed?

"Well... I'm just so disappointed because Sharp Tooth was mean to his friends.  I'm just very disappointed in him.  So, SO disappointed."

She kept shaking her head, sighing, and repeating, "I'm just SO disappointed" all throughout dinner.

* * *

Randomly, at the dinner table, in response to absolutely nothing:


* * *

When asked where her mom was while eating breakfast on Mother's Day:

"Mommy's still sleeping.  She's really going for it today."

* * *

When her little sister got in trouble for climbing on the dishwasher:

"That kid gets busted all day long!"





Third Trimester Essentials

With my due date just a few days away (Thursday!) I thought it would be a good time to share some of my third trimester essentials.  Going into the final three months, I had no idea what I'd actually need.  Turns out, leg cramps, excessive swelling, and a rapidly changing body dictated what items became more than just "that'd be nice to have."  Of course, with pregnancy effecting everyone differently, others may have different necessities but for me, these must-haves were vital to ensuring a manageable, slightly less uncomfortable third trimester.

third trimester essentials twentieth street

1 // Magnesium supplements - Right around 30 weeks, I started getting really bad leg cramps in the middle of the night.  So bad, they'd wake me from sleep groaning in pain so loudly that I even woke The Husband up a few times.  My sister-in-law recommended magnesium and, after checking with my doc, I ended up purchasing the biggest bottle I could find.  After just a few days of taking the supplement regularly, the leg cramps went away.  I've been taking them religiously ever since.  Magnesium is supposed to be good for other potential third trimester issues like insomnia and *ahem* digestive problems so keep it in mind if you have any of these troubles yourself.

2 // Compression socks - I don't know if it was the stress and exertion of the move itself or just coincidental timing but about two days after settling in to the new apartment, my feet, ankles, and calves were so swollen I could barely walk and my hands were like baseball gloves permanently attached to the ends of my arms.  I tried some standard compression hose and they helped a little bit but not really.  At my 36 week appointment, we found out my steady weight gain of 1-2 pounds a week had suddenly jumped to 8 POUNDS in two weeks!!  My doc noticed the swelling before I even said anything and said I needed to get medical-grade compression socks asap and wear them from the time I get dressed in the morning until I get into bed at night.  I told her I felt like such a wuss for complaining about swelling, which is probably the most common pregnancy symptom women experience.  She turned to me and said, "Your swelling is significantly worse than what I see in women who are full term 40 weeks pregnant.  You're definitely not a wuss for complaining about it!"  I went home and ordered a few pairs of these socks.  They were delivered two days later and I put them on immediately.  Within a few hours, the swelling went down dramatically!  My toes and tops of feet still get puffy (as do my hands) and my legs still have that heavy feeling, but the feecankles are diminished and it doesn't hurt to walk anymore.  Basically, these things were a lifesaver.  It takes me about 5 minutes each morning just to put on a pair of socks but, hey, it's worth it.

3 // Nursing bra - I've tried many different nursing/maternity bras over the last few months and the Lamaze nursing bra is by far the most comfortable.  Don't underestimate your size, though.  I ordered one size larger than I thought I needed and it actually fits almost perfectly.  Even though I'm not nursing yet, I wear these almost everyday simply because underwire bras at this point feel like a medieval torture devices.  I will definitely be ordering a few more post-delivery when the real nursing fun begins.

4 // Maxi dresses - I don't care where you buy them from - Target, Old Navy, a fancy-pants maternity store - just get yourself some maxi dresses whatever the season.  They're even more comfortable than yoga pants, especially if you work from home and spend most of your time out of an office environment, and you can always throw a sweater over them if it's chilly out.  They're like oversized nightgowns and all you need is one article of clothing to look put-together.  Due to the compression socks, I still wear my jeans or leggings when going out but for those staying-mostly-at-home days, I live in these lovely frocks and am super grateful to be pregnant at a time when they're actually in style and don't look like giant mumus.

5 // Raspberry leaf tea - My doctor actually recommended I start drinking this everyday to help prepare for labor and delivery.  Apparently it's great for uterine health and helps prevent post-delivery hemorrhaging.  With a little bit of honey, it's pretty tasty, too!

6 // Lace up shoes - Oh man.  Back in January, I bought these particular shoes as a birthday treat because I'm a little bit in love with the stylish sneakers look.  Boy am I glad I did.  When the foot/ankle swelling started, even my flip-flops were too tight to be comfortable and left strap marks on the tops of my feet.  Now that I have to wear compression socks all day e'ry day, flip-flops aren't even an option.  Enter lace-up shoes.  I don't care what kind you get, just as long as you can loosen the laces and make them as wide as needed.  These are basically the only shoes that fit me right now and I wear them pretty much every time I need to go out in public.

7 // On Becoming Baby Wise - I've moved on from the pregnancy/delivery books and started to look for resources on actually taking care of a newborn baby.  This book has so many great tips and advice for baby's feeding, sleeping, and overall scheduling.  We're not born instinctively knowing how to sleep - it's a habit that needs to be taught - and considering my struggles with insomnia, I want to help this kid learn the best sleep habits possible as early as possible.  Plus, it'd be nice to have a baby sleeping through the night in just a few weeks/months, right?

Moms and soon-to-be moms, anything I left off the list?  What have been/were your third trimester essentials?

If you'd like to see my first and second trimester essentials, click here and here.





Tales of an Insomniac

I thought I was tired.  Drowsy.  Sleepy.  So I went to bed at the same time as The Husband, a rarity for a couple comprised of one night owl and one morning person.  We laid in bed chatting for a bit and watched my belly move and shake as the little critter inside kicked and squirmed, doing its best to get comfy its ever-shrinking enclosure.  After a while, The Husband dozed off, leaving me wide awake and wondering where my drowsiness went.  So I picked up my Kindle and started to read.  Normally, reading is a reliable part of my bedtime routine.  A surefire way to distract my brain from the next day’s To-Do list and ease the transition into dreamland.  Half an hour went by.  Then another half hour.  Then another.  As enthralled as I was by my current book, I decided it was time to try a new tactic.  I’d watch TV in the living room.  Yet another way to distract my brain and let it turn to mush as I awaited the Sandman.

But at 1am, there aren’t many good options besides infomercials and random reruns of weird shows.  And then, a beautiful thing happened.  I found a Friends marathon.  So with the company of Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe, I grabbed a blanket, turned off the living room lights, and settled in on the couch.  About half-way through the episode, I realized that particular one originally aired about 20 years ago.  I also realized I actually remember watching it on TV as a new Friends episode way back when.  I loved that show when I was younger and watched it faithfully.  I had visions of moving to NYC, hanging out with my friends in a cool coffee shop, and navigating life as an independent adult.  And then I realized that the time difference between when I first watched that episode and now -20 years- was approximately the same as when I was a wee child of the 80s watching old reruns of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island that originally aired in the late 60s.  And then I felt old.  These are the thoughts my brain conjures up when it should be dreaming.

After a few episodes, I decided it was time to attempt sleep again.  But first, a bathroom break.  Because when you’re 39 weeks pregnant, you need a lot of bathroom breaks, especially right before bed.  I didn’t want to turn on the lights lest the brightness wake me even more.  It had been one of the hottest days of the year so far and the bathroom window was still cracked open just a few inches.  There was enough of a golden glow coming through the frosted glass window from the street lamps outside so it wasn’t completely dark.  I just happened to peak out the window, curious for a glimpse of the urban skyline at night, and saw a thick layer of fog blanketing the northern part of the city.  It was almost mesmerizing the way it separated the city below from the night sky above.  Soft and white like freshly spun cotton candy, Karl the Fog encompassed both humble homes and towering skyscrapers alike.  I had to take a picture.  Just one.  I’m sure the fog looks like that on many nights but I don’t gaze out my bathroom window at 2am often enough to know for sure.

san francisco at night

After that, I headed back to bed, ready to snuggle in and attempt sleep once again.  As I was slowly drifting off, lingering between wakefulness and dreamland, I heard one of the piggies rustling through their hay pile.  Normally they’re both happily asleep at this point, but not tonight.  Guess I’m not the only one battling insomnia these days.





Cornerstone Wedding in Sonoma | Julia & Michael

creative wedding photography sonoma

When I first entered the rental home where Julia was getting ready, I immediately noticed how peaceful and calm it was.  She was just hanging out, chatting with her stylist, and enjoying the afternoon sun shimmering through a nearby window.  Michael would soon join her -the two were planning to get ready together- but he was out with friends at the moment.  Sure, the typical wedding day nerves were there, bubbling just below the surface.  How could they not be?  This was a big day, the day they would leave coupledom and start a whole new family.  But anxiety?  Stress?  Nope, none of that.  Just happy smiles and lots of laughter.  Of course, that's exactly how they wanted it.  Being a lawyer and a doctor, the day was fully planned and thought out well in advance but Julia & Michael also recognized the importance of not sweating the small stuff.  Instead, they let their plans play out as best they could and chose to just go with the flow of the day.  And it turned out to be a pretty awesome day indeed.



VSCO Grid Feature

Over the weekend, I found out one of my images was selected to be featured on the curated VSCO Grid!  It's just a simple picture of a peony but it also happens to be one of my most liked photos on Instagram, too.  Since peony season is so short, I might just have to order a print of it for my office to enjoy the bright, cheery bloom all year long.

pink peony in bloom

Are you also on VSCO Grid?  If so, I'd love to follow you!  Just leave your link below. :)



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