Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maternity Leave

Baby girl was born on April 13th at 11:57pm.  She weighed 10 pounds and 5 ounces!!!  It was a traumatic birth and we ended up having to have an emergency C-section and a very long and difficult recovery, which is why I haven't posted on here yet!  I didn't plan on writing out her "birth story" here, but if anyone is interested, I'll consider it.  I don't plan on turning this into a "baby blog" or anything like that.  But it is my personal blog, so some family-related posts are bound to happen every once in awhile! 

Baby girl is a very easy baby.  She's pretty mellow and relaxed, doesn't really cry very much... we're pretty lucky! She's 5 weeks now and is almost outgrowing 3 month clothes!  I had to end my maternity leave at 5 weeks to go back to work.  That has been very difficult.  But on the bright side, I only have a few weeks until summer break!  My in-laws are coming to visit and we hope to take them to see some sights here in the Bay Area, so I'll have a few interesting things to post about soon!

I'll leave you for now with a pic of my hubby and baby.  :)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

This is not a pregnancy blog...

Well, folks, we're about 2 weeks away from my due date.  But I'm really hoping that baby girl will be born early.  I am soooo sick of being pregnant!

BUT this is not a pregnancy blog.  Or a mommy blog.  It's just my personal blog.  It used to be a travel blog, but now it has morphed into just me updating about my life and sharing random things I find interesting.  I have no plans to use it as a baby or mommy blog.  But I do want to share a few things for my own personal memories, so I hope you'll indulge me for at least one more pregnancy post!

I thought I would write down some common questions I've gotten this pregnancy, some random things I want to make sure I remember for the future, and any other things I want to post on here before going MIA for awhile!

Ok, let's dive in!~

Frequently Asked Questions

When are you due?
April 13

Do you have a name picked out?
We kind of do. But we haven't told anyone.  We reserve the right to change our minds at any time.  In fact, just last night we were talking about another name option that we both like.  So even though we "picked" one awhile ago, we might end up changing our minds once we meet the baby...

What's your birth plan?
The plan is to have the baby.  Somehow, she will come out of me. 

Have you had any weird cravings?
Fruit in general, but especially citrus.

Have you had any weird food aversions?
In the first trimester I had a really hard time eating meat, especially chicken.  I basically survived on bean burritos and mac 'n' cheese!

Any morning sickness?
No "morning" sickness.  I never threw up (except when I got the flu).  But I did have constant nausea all day long for about 4 months.  I also felt really dizzy and almost fainted a few times.  I also had extreme fatigue.  And some migraines.  Overall I just felt really icky and tired all the time.

Any other weird symptoms?
Bloody noses.  One time I was in class with my 9th grade choir, sitting at the piano teaching them something, and my nose just started dripping blood.  It freaked them out!!!

Pelvic pain.  This was the worst.  I've had extreme ligament and pelvic pain since about week 16.  And it has only gotten worse.  It's so bad now that it's painful to just stand or walk.

Being hot all the time. But I don't think this is unique to me.  I think it's definitely a common pregnancy symptom.  Sweating a lot.  General heat radiating from my body.  It's so sexy...

Things I Want To Remember

Pregnancy is not fun.
I don't know who these people are who love being pregnant.  Why???  In my experience it has been extremely painful and exhausting and frustrating.  I'm lucky that I didn't have too many emotional rollercoasters, but the physical toll it has taken has been extremely frustrating.  Maybe my experience is not "normal."  Maybe "normal" pregnancies don't come with as much pain.  But everyone has said that you forget the pain and you forget everything bad about being pregnant once you have the baby.  I don't want to forget.  I don't want to do this again!  Is that selfish?  I think I might like to have more kids, but I'd really love to adopt.  To be honest, I've wanted to adopt anyway, and even told my husband I'd be ok with adopting only (before I got pregnant, obviously).  So I need to remember that this has been a rough experience and I don't really want to go through it again.

My husband should win some sort of award.
He has been amazing.  For the first half of the pregnancy, he worked from home.  And that made it very easy for him to take care of things that I couldn't.  For the first trimester, I would basically go to work, come home and get in bed and sleep until dinner time, wake up and eat dinner, then go back to sleep.  He had to pick up a lot of slack with taking care of our dog, keeping the house tidy, doing laundry, making all our food, etc.  And he never once complained!  Even after the first trimester, when I started having more energy, and he started working outside the home, he would still bring me oatmeal in bed every morning, clean the house, cook dinner, etc.  Very thankful for him!

Pregnancy brain is so real.
I don't know if it comes from lack of sleep, hormonal changes, or sheer exhaustion, but pregnancy brain is so real.  I've always been quick-witted and smart.  Not anymore!  I feel like I can not form one coherent sentence, words elude me, and anything that requires thinking.... doesn't happen.  It's very frustrating!  My students think it's funny.  But it's really annoying to have a complete mind-blank (COMPLETE MIND BLANK) in the middle of a sentence with a classroom full of teenagers!

Something Random

The closer my due date comes, the stronger my urge to travel!  Maybe it's because I know I'll be tied down for awhile (although we still plan on traveling as much as possible with our baby), but I can't stop thinking about all the places I want to travel to!  I want to go to Hawaii!  I want to take Peter to Italy!  I want to go back to Brazil!  Heck, I'd be happy with just going somewhere local.  I just want to get out and do things and see the world!  But I can't.  Because I'm stuck in my bed with extreme pelvic pain, just waiting for this baby to pop out...

Will it all be worth it once the baby arrives?  I'll let you know!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I want to write a book

Do you have any life-long dreams you've been hoarding in the back of your mind, waiting for the perfect time to bring them out and obsess about them?  One of my long-long life-long dreams has been to write a book.  Or just write anything that can get published.  So, naturally, now that I'm 2.5 months away from giving birth to my first child, working full time as a music teacher (with no plans to stop teaching), and considering starting a PhD in the near future... now would be the perfect time for me to obsess about this book idea...

But, really, I can't get it out of my head.  It's an itch that won't go away that I reeeeally need to scratch.  Write - a - book! Write - a - book! runs through my head 24/7.  Never mind that I have absolutely no idea what I would actually write about... that minor detail is insignificant...  No matter that I haven't written anything that's ever been published...  

"It seems easy enough... have an idea, write it, publish it.  People are self-publishing all the time these days, right???  Ok, ok let's give in to my fantasy for a second and really think about this book idea.  Where to start?  Well, I need a topic.  Wait, first I need a genre.  Non-fiction?  Fiction?  Self-Help?  Biography?  Diary-style?  Novel?  What do people want to read about?  Does that even matter?  Who am I writing this for anyway?  Who's my 'audience?'  Do I need an audience?  Can't I just write this for my own personal fulfillment?  Then what's the point?  Why go to all the trouble if no one is going to read it except for me and my mom?  Writing a book is a lot of work...  Ok, maybe I shouldn't write a book..."

So I table it for a few days.  "I give up.  No one will read it anyway, so what's the point?  It was a bad idea.  I need to just stick with what I'm good at - teaching music, and not get involved with other projects I know nothing about."

A few days go by and suddenly, there's that itch again.  Write - a - book! Write - a - book!  

"I'm good at music... maybe I should write a book about music.  I wonder if there is a niche for historical musical fiction?  Is that weird?  Who would read that?  Maybe I should write a textbook.  Ugh how boring..."  And on and on and on it goes.

I have a feeling this is not going to go away until I actually do write a book...  Or maybe I'll just think about it, obsess about it, and be generally confused about it forever, without ever actually writing anything.  Yep, that seems about right...

Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Pregnancy symptoms I was *not* prepared for!

I thought I knew everything about pregnancy...I've seen movies... I have four sisters and 14 nieces and nephews and heard all their horror stories... I thought I knew everything about pregnancy and its joys and pains. WRONG! Here are some things I did and did not know to expect...

I DID know that pregnancy causes hormonal changes which can result in mood swings.  Even though I knew about that, I was still unprepared for the surges of emotions and the random urges to cry for no reason.

I did NOT know that pregnancy can cause major skin issues. For the first trimester my skin got extremely oily (I'm usually super dry) and I had major breakouts. I've never had breakouts or acne before, so that was an unpleasant surprise. For the second trimester my skin got extremely dry and sensitive. Any contact to my skin whatsoever would cause it to be red and irritated. And no amount of lotion could quench the dryness.

basically the state of my skin right now

I DID know about food cravings. I did NOT know about food aversions. I couldn't eat meat for 4 months. Just the thought of chicken made me want to barf.

I DID know about morning sickness. I DID NOT know about all-day nausea. All. Day. Nausea...

I DID know that many pregnant women experience breast sensitivity. I did NOT know how painful it would be. Especially during sleeping.  Luckily the pain went away after the first trimester!

I did NOT know about the panic-inducing hunger. I would be completely fine and then within seconds I would be so hungry I would get a panic attack, feeling like I would die if I didn't eat something right that second!

I did NOT know about nosebleeds! I actually had to ask my doctor about this. She said it's completely normal. I've always been prone to nosebleeds anyway, but apparently when you're pregnant, the changes in estrogen and progesterone can cause your blood vessels to become more sensitive, which can result in more frequent nosebleeds. One day while I was teaching choir, I was sitting at the piano playing for the kids while they were singing, and my nose just started dripping blood. Blood just started dripping down my face. My students were a little traumatized!!!

I did NOT know about round ligament pain. I started experiencing round ligament pain around week 12 and it has been constant ever since. It feels like a knife is slicing through my groin and pelvic muscles. It's more painful when I first wake up in the morning and at night after a long day of work. It makes it difficult to change position (standing to sitting, laying to standing), and it is extremely painful. My friends were making fun of me because I was waddling so early in my pregnancy. They were joking that I would be in a wheelchair by the third trimester. And honestly, I'm hoping I can be. Because it is so painful!

I did NOT know about the change in smells.  I did know that pregnant women have a more sensitive sense of smell, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the smell that I give off... the way I smell to other people. I suppose it makes sense - hormonal changes can affect your body odor. But now I have to be very careful to wash myself both morning and night, always wear clean underwear, always wear a fresh pantyliner, and make sure I don't skip out on the deodorant! (TMI? Sorry!)

Let's just say I do not smell like these roses!

Were any of these a surprise to you?  Did you experience any of these with your pregnancies?  And if you've never been pregnant before, you have now been warned! :)

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Goals

As I think back about previous years' goals, I realize how different this year will be.  My greatest fear is happening - I'm becoming a mom!  I can already see my priorities shifting before my eyes.  In previous years I've had goals to travel more, have more adventures, be more creative, do more projects, use my art journal more, etc.

This year I want to purge and organize my house, use more natural/safe products, and overall just survive and thrive.  How boring, right?!  I guess this is what they call "nesting."  I know that this year is going to bring a lot of changes, and I will be exhausted and my life will be verrry different.  I'll be adjusting to life with a baby, as well as working full time.  So I anticipate not having a whole ton of time for art journals and DIY projects.  So here are a few simple and easy "goals" I'm giving myself this year:


This one is huge. My husband and I have decided that this whole year we will not buy anything. Well, of course we have to buy some things... food and necessities.  But as much as possible, we will not buy anything we don't need.  We don't need new clothes or shoes, we don't need electronics, we don't need jewelry or home decor.  Our goal is to completely use up everything we currently have before we buy anything new.  This includes all the random beauty products, skincare items, light bulbs, picture frames, etc, that we've been hoarding. And if we don't use it, or haven't used it in 6 months - toss or donate!

 - In the interest of saving money, here are some other ideas I've had... make my own cleaning supplies, make my own laundry detergent, make my own deodorant, make my own toothpaste... AND if I can successfully make all these things, I'll be ridding my life of toxic chemicals. I already have most of the ingredients needed, and the other ingredients I have to purchase are cheap and will last a looong time.  (Here are some recipes I'm excited to try: Toothpaste, Laundry Detergent, Deodorant.)


I guess moving overseas, moving back to the US, moving across the country, moving to a house, and moving back across the country again has helped us accumulate a bit of debt.  Somehow it got a little out of hand.  Actually, I know exactly how it happened!  When we moved back to the US, we didn't own a single thing.  We had no bed, no couch, no table, no nothing!  We should have been more responsible with our purchases, but... well... you know...

Of course I have a ginormous to-do list before baby comes. I need to purge and organize and clean my house.  I need to set up the bedroom to prepare for baby.  I need to organize my bills and file a ton of papers... But that will all happen in due time (hopefully!).

What are your 2018 goals???