Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quotable Tuesdays

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quotable Tuesdays

The warmest of wishes to you and yours from me and mine.
Stress Case

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pregnancy Faux Pas I'm Totally Cool With

Little did I know the world of pregnant ladies could be so judgey.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, as let's be honest, the world of ladies can be pretty judgey - why would we expect any less from some extra hormonal ladies?  Anywho, throughout my pregnancy I have spent lots of time on TheBump.com, as it has been a great way to connect with woman due around the same time as me and get advice on everything from registries to recovery from moms who have Been There Done That (BTDT is the acronym for that on TheBump, incaseyouwerewondering).

There are quite a few Pregnancy Faux Pas that are apparently frowned upon in this round-bellied world, and today I'm coming out and saying this pregnant chick right here?  Totally cool with them.

Counting Months 4 Weeks at a Time
Lots of pregnant ladies are outraged at people who count their months 4 weeks at a time.  For example, if you say you are six months pregnant when you're 24 weeks, you're in for an earfull.  Here's the thing, though.  In every other estimate of time, I always count my months by 4 weeks.  If someone says something is in 8 weeks, my brain automatically thinks 2 months - is that really all that abnormal?  Andplusalso, lots of people don't know pregnancy is usually counted in weeks, so when they ask you how far along you are, they want to hear an answer in months.  Granted, this does become a little awkward now as I am 9+ months pregnant (if you divide my weeks by 4, of course), but there is still no baby.  Little does society know that you're really pregnant for 40 weeks...or 10 months!  We've been tricked for our whole lives.
Gender Reveal Parties
This one really gets me.  Many many ladies on TheBump and throughout Cyber Land are appalled by even the thought of a Gender Reveal Party.  These ladies see it is as completely self-involved (it might be a little, I can see that), and over the top.  I have read things as nasty as "no one but you cares about the sex of your baby" and "the correct term is sex, so gender reveal party doesn't even make sense" and "why subject people to a party all about your baby's genitals" and the ever popular "why does everything have to be a party these days?".  We proudly had a Gender Reveal Party and here's why.  We were excited, and so were our friends and families.  Were they as excited as us?  Probably not, as this little one is ours and not theirs (though my Mother-in-Law may say differently).  But they were excited, and we wanted to share a fun moment with them.  I also don't see the problem with turning things into a party.  Why not celebrate the big and even the little moments in life?  If someone didn't want to attend our party, they certainly didn't have to, but who turns up their nose at free food, booze, a good time with some friends, and a little surprise via cake cut?  Not me!

Push Presents
For those of you unfamiliar, a "push present" is a gift given from the New Dad to the New Mom after the birth of their New Baby.  They have gotten increasingly popular over the years, and range from housewares and appliances, to sweet and thoughtful jewelry, and some people are lucky enough to be gifted diamonds and extravagant gifts like that!  While by no means do I think anyone should expect a present for delivering a baby, why is it a problem if one might be lucky enough to receive one?  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that the ladies who have such a problem with push presents are just a wee bit jealous.  Of course the baby is the present, of course that is what it's about, but you know what, a little present never hurt anyone!
Sip and See's/Sprinkles
A sip and see is a small get together, sometimes female only sometimes co-ed, hosted after baby's arrival, and the focus is on (maybe I should say, the focus should be on) meeting the new baby and congratulating Mom (and Dad, should be there also!).  A "baby sprinkle" is a small shower, thrown in lieu of a traditional larger baby shower, often to celebrate a baby of the opposite gender of their older sibling - the gifts are usually very gender-centric, focusing on girl or boy clothes often times.  There are many many people who feel the issue of anything even remotely resembling a baby shower for a second or third (or fourth or fifth, for that matter) baby is black and white - showers are for first babies only.  While I tend to agree, a traditional baby shower is to welcome a mother into motherhood, and is a little tacky done for second and certainly third babies, I think there is something to celebrate about each baby on the way, and sip and sees and sprinkles are wonderful tasteful ways to do that!  Plus, if you don't agree with it, don't have one and don't go.
Bumpdates/Weekly Blogging
Clearly I have no objections to Bumpdates, as I've been posting them here for months now!  These weekly updates are truly more for myself and family and friends who care to keep updated than readers, as I know they can be a little repetitive at times.  However, as a blog reader, I love reading weekly pregnancy updates and have since before I was a pregnant blogger myself!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New Years Baby Bumpdate: Week 36


What's up with Baby this week? Little girl is rehearsing for her big debut - inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking her thumb, blinking and turning from side to side!

Symptoms? This week hasn't been too bad, but there was one night (36w2d) that had me tossing and turning because my hips were killing me throughout the night!  Heartburn is still a killer, also - I literally felt like I drank acid the other day at work, coughing up a storm and struggling to make it through the afternoon.

Gender? Baby girl.

Excited For? My final ultrasound (today!) to see how big this little lady is looking.

Maternity Clothes? Have switched over to casual tops with scrub bottoms almost exclusively, and the only non-maternity I can get away with outside of work is some sweaters, yoga pants, sweats, and big t-shirts to sleep in.

Sleep? The hip pain was a killer for my sleep, but luckily it only started waking me up early morning and wasn't keeping me up all night.

Movement? This past weekend was one of her most active.  She was moving and grooving all weekend long.

Belly Button Status? I don't know that I'd call it in anymore, it's more...flush with the belly at this point.  I don't think it's going to be popping.

Missing Anything? My own clothes and shoes!!  I knew your feet could swell during pregnancy, and even grow, but I didn't expect to not be able to wear my favorite boots (or any of my boots, for that matter) this winter.  I had a minor meltdown (maybe I cried about it, whatever) when I realized there was no way they were getting on these feet.  It's strange because my feet don't really look swollen, but apparently they are.


36w2d Handsome Husband spent some time playing with Baby M through my belly.  They were poking at each other for nearly 30 minutes, and it was so fun to watch his face light up.  That night made HH more excited than ever, and he's been mentioning how much he can't wait for our little doll's arrival ever since.

Cravings? All types of fruit!

Weight Gain? My doctor says up 30 pounds, which officially makes me scared.  30 was what I was hoping not to pass, but with four weeks left until my due date, that is going to be impossible (obviously).

My, how I've grown!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adventures in Pinterest: Quinoa Chicken Chilli

A little birdie (read: Cute Apartment) requested recipes, and this blogger is trying to deliver!  I had pinned this one a long time ago, and couldn't wait to try it.  I was especially interested because I had never cooked with quinoa before trying out this recipe (Fun fact: I only recently learned quinoa is pronounced keen-wah and not ki-no-ah.  Thanks Sister Swimmer for helping a girl out.) and was interested in seeing if Handsome Husband would be a fan!

My Pinspiration:

My Version:

I'll send you over to Queen Bee for the recipe, as I only changed a few things.  I added slightly more corn (because I'm a big fan) and halved the chili powder and crushed red pepper additions per her suggestion, as I'm not a big fan of the spice.

I topped mine with lots of Mexican cheese and sour cream, on HH's I sprinkled extra chili powder and crushed red peppers, cause he does love spicy!  

We were both big fans, and this is a great protein-heavy winter meal!  It cooks in the crock pot (I used frozen chicken breasts and cooked mine on low for 6 hours and the chicken was perfect - my crock pot is faster than average, though), which I love.  We had tons of leftovers, and HH preferred to eat his leftovers with chips!

What is your favorite winter meal?

Monday, December 9, 2013

C'est Une Fille: Another Shower for Baby M

In mid-November, on a gorgeous Southern California day, I was treated to another baby shower, this time at Cute Apartment's brand new place (yes, she moved and hosted a shower a week later - she's a superhero!), surrounded by my closest girlfriends, and hosted by one of the best hosts I know. 
Cute Apartment, the great hostesss
I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and excitement I can feel radiating from my friends about this Baby Girl.  That is to be expected from family (though still greatly appreciated!), but there is something special about the feeling you get when a friend seems like family by how much they truly care.
I'll let the photos do most of the talking, as I managed to remember to take some this time around!


I was happily surprised to see a headband making station for my little girly girl (okay okay, I know she could be a total tomboy, but until she can object, this little lady will be rocking a lot of headbands and bows).


Lovely ladies I've met through HH's journey so far in Law School

With the host herself, Cute Apartment

Me and Ms. Art Teacher

Twin Beauty School and myself

Giggling with Best Friend Swagger

Me and Ms. Smiles

A group shot we waited a little too long to take, as there are some pretty girls missing - but I love it all the same!
Sister Swimmer, myself and Gardening Mom - unfortunately Sister Singer had to work!

The love of my life, and my favorite Daddy-to-be, Handsome Husband
I am so grateful to Cute Apartment for throwing this gorgeous shower, and to all of my friends and family who made it to this shower (and my first one, as well, of course), and have been so generous with their gifts and kind words for our growing family.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December Goals

Another month gone by, another un-checked to-do list!  Okay, I did manage to get some items checked off the list, but December is a busy month and there's a long list of things to get done this month, too!
Here's how I did in November.
November Goals
Get thank you notes out for both showers, and any gifts received for Baby M. - To be fair, a few have not been mailed out just yet, but they are written, in envelopes and I'm throwing them in holiday cards tonight.  #SavingonPostage
Update all the photos in our house, and add some picture frames to our TV stand in living room. - Fail!  Will be updating the hanging photos in our home in December, but going to wait until the new year to add the picture frames to our TV stand, since it's currently all Christmas-ed out!
Decide on a pediatrician for Baby M. - I've decided, but have yet to contact them to make sure they are accepting new patients.  Must.  Do.  Today.
Finally paint the little table for Baby M's nursery.

Organize kitchen cabinets. - Fail.  Maybe over my leave!
Order shelves for Baby M's nursery. - We lucked out and ended up finding the perfect shelves at Target for way cheaper than I thought I was going to have to spend!  HH put them up already, and they look darling.
Wash Baby M's newborn and 0-3 months and organize her dresser.

Purge and organize master bedroom closet, and dresser. - Fail.  A lot of a the reason I wanted to do this was to get my maternity vs. non-maternity clothes seperated, and since I am slowly trickling down the days of the huge belly (I'm well aware it won't pop back to it's pre-pregnancy size after delivery), I may wait until after Baby M arrives to do this.  My closet does need a cleaning in general though, being that there is very little floor currently visible.

Start organizing Baby M's closet - purchase modular unit and have HH set up! - We bought it, HH put it together, and it's already full of goodies for our little princess!
Order remaining wall decor for nursery. - Fail!  Must do soon!
Make mobile and crib skirt for Baby M's nursery. - Fail!  I did manage to make some adorable burp cloths with Gardening Momma though (post to come!).  Crib skirt will be made within the next two weeks, and the mobile may be on hold until Christmas comes and goes.  We'll see.
December Goals
Update photos hanging in our house and add photos to frames in Baby M's nursery.
Contact pediatrician for Baby M, and make sure they are accepting new patients and are aware of my due date.
Clean master bedroom closet.
Clean master bedroom: clear off top of dresser, floor surround bed, nightstands, etc.
Order or make remaining wall decor for Baby M's nursery.
Make crib skirt for Baby M's nursery.
Send thank you notes for Christmas gifts - if Baby M hasn't arrived by then, I figure I should get them done right after the holiday while I can! 

Erica Ashley
Monthly Goals

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Years Baby Bumpdate: Week 35

35 weeks on Thanksgiving Day

What's up with Baby this week? Baby is six pounds this week, and up to 20 inches long!  She has formed all her soft bones and cartilage, to protect her through the journey she's gearing up to make her way out of there!

Symptoms? General aches and pains that make it hard to move, and are much much worse at night is all I've really been dealing with this week.  Also, I'm not sure that I've mentioned it, but I completely fell victim to tiger stripes (awful stretch marks).  It's embarassing and incredibly ugly, and something I had really hoped to avoid.  Unfortunately, there is not much (read: nothing) I can do about it, and I'll have to live with them forever.  Hoping my baby girl will make me forget about how ugly they look by how pretty she is!

Gender? Lady.

Excited For? Hitting full-term next week (remember these Bumpdates are a week behind) and my final ultrasound to try and get a peak at how big this baby might be!

Maternity Clothes? Have switched over to casual tops with scrub bottoms almost exclusively, and the only non-maternity I can get away with outside of work is some sweaters, yoga pants, sweats, and big t-shirts to sleep in.

Sleep? Sleep is okay, my bathroom breaks have actually decreased, but I think that has more to do with my water intake decreasing a bit recently (shame on me) than anything else.

Movement? She definitely feels a little more cramped in there, as big kicks are few and far between nowadays, but she wiggles and squirms all the time, still.

Belly Button Status? I don't know that I'd call it in anymore, it's more...flush with the belly at this point.  I don't think it's going to be popping.

Missing Anything? Beer.  And also, not feeling like I got hit by a truck by 7pm every day.


35w Baby's first Thanksgiving (in utero)!  If this little girl wants to surprise me and make her first Christmas in 2013 instead of 2014, I will be more than happy!
Cravings? Apples are back.

Weight Gain? My doctor says up 30 pounds, which officially makes me scared.  30 was what I was hoping not to pass, but with four weeks left until my due date, that is going to be impossible (obviously).

My, how I've grown!

Wow, I miss feeling like I felt in my Week 15 picture - sexy and confident!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's December!

In November...
Handsome Husband spent a few days in Portland, Oregon at a Negotiation competition, and found out he would be traveling to a few competitions in 2014 also!

I got to spend the morning catching up with Cousin Snapshot and Best Cousin during Cousin S' visit to So Cal. 

L-R: Cousin Snapshot, Me, Best Cousin
We hosted a fun birthday dinner at our house for birthday girl, Mother-in-Law Red!
Gardening Mom, Sisters Singer and Swimmer and their friends and BF YOLO, Handsome Husband and I kicked off the holiday season with the Tree Lighting Ceremony we attend every year!

HH and I at Tree Lighting
HH and I commemorated this pregnancy with some maternity photos (that I've yet to share on the blog...coming soon, promise!) in Old Towne Orange.
Sneak peak - I'll share more soon!
Handsome Husband kicked his studying into gear for finals - and we started getting really excited that once he is done with finals, little Baby M will be making her grand debut any day!  (And because I'm neurotic, I started worrying about what I would do if I went in to labor during one of his 3+ hour long finals.)
Cousin Study Buddy and Mr. UNC accompanied HH and myself to a USC basketball game when we were lucky enough to get courtside seats from Gardening Momma's boss.  The game was exciting, but I was a little nervous the entire time shielding my basketball (aka my baby belly) from stray balls and players.  Luckily we stayed out of the action.
Best Friend Cute Apartment hosted a lovely baby shower for me to celebrate Baby M's upcoming arrival with all of my closest girlfriends.  It was gorgeous, and I will be sharing details soon!

Me and the hostess with the mostess, Cute Apartment
The family got together to celebrate the birthday of Tutor Girl - she's getting close to the big 3-0, and I admire her for loving that instead of loathing it as I do!
We attended the wedding reception of a good friend of HH's from law school, and were happy to celebrate their recent nuptuals with them.
Aunt Fancy Chef treated the ladies in HH's family to a day of yummy food!  First we had a lovely breakfast, followed by a super fun cooking class!  I can't wait to go back, the cooking class was so much fun!

Thanksgiving was full of family and great food and as usual, we were feeling blessed to be able to see both my side and HH's side of the family on the holiday.
I opted out of Black Friday shopping, and instead chose to do some Black Friday crafting and wrapping with Gardening Mom and Sister Swimmer.  Gardening Mom and I managed to crank out some adorable burp cloths which will be making their way to the blog very soon!
We wrapped up the month with a lovely Hannukah Dinner at Gardening Mom and Hat Dad's house - and I got my annual fix of potato latkes!  I can never get enough, especially leftovers!
In December?  I'm crossing my fingers for a slightly early arrival of little miss Baby M, and we've got lots of fun holiday events to attend!

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