Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Inchworm: 13 weeks

We've moved from citrus to seafood! Inchworm is now around 3-inches and around the size of a medium shrimp weighing in at about an ounce. This is the last week of my first trimester and the risk for miscarriage is getting lower, something I considered happening as this is my first pregnancy. I have tried to keep a very open mind to the fact that it happens. Easier for me to say at this point, I know - quick to get pregnant, not really any sickness and so far, problem free... don't hate me for it. I feel blessed and I am sorry for those of you who have had trials.

Our next appointment is this coming this Thursday (Nov. 1st). My mom is coming with me this time and I'm going to try to score an ultrasound for the blog. If you haven't seen Robyn's little Limabean yet, check it out! They've posted their 14-week ultrasound on their new blog.

As for growth (see the diagram on babycenter.com):
  • Fingerprints have formed the the baby's tiny fingertips.
  • Veins and organs are clearly visible through the baby's still-thin skin.
  • The body is starting to catch up with the head — which makes up just a third of the body size now.
  • I'm noticing quite the baby-bump coming in. [see photo below]
  • No more puking since the other day. I do get gagged up over this and that though...
  • I can now be a strong competitor in a pee-a-thon if it existed
  • cravings: I guess peaches but I'm also big on any fruit. Bananas and oranges too, although I just started buying those. Absolutely no orange juice though! (I think it's too acidic and made me throw-up the other morning). I really had a hankering for sweet-n-sour chix chinese food last week. Still sounds REALLY GOOD!
fun fact: If we're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries.

tips/products: I've just started using Belly Smooches, a prego-belly cream to assist with hydration and well, to try to avoid those nasty stretch marks. I discovered it through babycenter.com but there is an official website. Best price and reviews through babycenter really helped. I use it on my entire torso + thighs and bum. I'm a big lotion freak anyway, but I don't like greasy or heavily perfumed lotions. I'm also a stickler on the ingredients. Some say that this is kind of
expensive, but when I find a product that I really like and has healthy content, I wouldn't trade for a cheaper knock-off with bad ingredients. So far I am going to continue to buy it. It has a sort of citrus scent, and the consistency is great. The reviews stand up to the actual product quite equally.

[click the image to enlarge] The first tummy photo! I've clearly labeled Inchworm's space as opposed to his/her "winter coat" I've prepared ahead of time. The worse thing is that the baby is pushing the chub I already have, OUT... that plus bloating makes one feel/look more pregnant than they should. Not bloated here

Okie dokie, that's it for today. if I get an ultrasound, I'll be posting this Thursday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Europe #2 for 2007 - a Re-Cap of Trip #1

We have just signed on for our second trip to Europe this year. We usually take this trip in early spring every year. Seeing as I will be a little big to lug around for travel that time of year with the baby, and well, being due in April/May could be an issue... we have promptly planned to travel ASAP! I swear, every time we plan this trip it is never a "plan"...it is more of a rush out! I guess it takes away the waiting and anticipation though. We will be heading out the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday.

The last two times I have gone on this trip have been to Göteborg,
Sweden combo'd with Barcelona, Spain. This time though, we are doing the second part in Italy, Rome. I'm sure the doctor is going to disagree.

The trip is an overseas delivery through the Volvo Factory in Sweden. We buy a 2008 Volvo XC70 to Göteborg (or "Gothenberg" how Americans pronounce it) and stay two nights, go to the Volvo Factory to check out the car, play around in town a bit and then head off to Rome for the remainder of the trip (3 days). [these top 3 photos were taken at the factory]

The first hotel is a Radisson SAS (Scandanavian Travel - European versions of the Radisson). This is one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. The entire center (pictured here) is a massive atrium. The interior rooms have balconies overlooking the center here. The rooms are also very stylish and chick, all newly remodeled since our trip in 2005.

We also get the hotel breakfast service at the places we stay. I'm telling you, this is not some dingy
stale food convention... they go ALL OUT to feed you at the breakfast buffet. It's a big deal! They have every kind of cereal, milk eggs, meats, fruits, sauteed mushrooms... you name it, anything you could ever ask for. More so, they include a kind of lunch fair in one area with breads, meats etc.... Breakfast here is really quite the event we look forward to. ;)

Our ultimate must for Sweden, is to visit our favorite little Kebab shop a couple of blocks away from the hotel. We get this dish that is simply a plate of french fries, stripe-steak on top with this amazing sauce that has a hint of spice to it. It's the magic sauce! The owner would not hand out the recipe but promptly offered to send us home with a carton of it. Unfortunately, we usually visit here first and well, it probably wouldn't keep or go through customs well. I think this is ALL we have ever eaten and will ever eat when we are in Sweden. We were going to try some high-class fancy place last time but decided we loved our little meal so much why spend the extra moolah.

Well I didn't really leave much room for Spain. Our trip this year was the best out of the two. Spain
is really quite different than Sweden, but they are starting to catch up a little. The hotel is a 5 star, but is quite old fashion. The breakfast is good, but not AS great in variety as Sweden. Still good though! Spain has a lot more to do and we've scoured about every inch of Barcelona!

This year we kept pretty busy! We planned to go see Cirque du Soleil because they happened to be in town. It was a fiasco and a half, but we had finally made it to a show... got VIP [Tapis Rouge tent] treatment, and the most front row position you could get. Dead center, front row... didn't even share our seating row (about 10 seats) with anyone! The clown even came down and attacked John for throwing his paper airplane back wrong...haha. If you've ever seen one of these shows on TV or whatnot, you'd get it. Prior to the show we got to hang out in the VIP tent, also got complimentary gift bags with a CD, program, bios of show characters, our VIP necklace-tags... etc. The tent was quite plush and had cool status and masks used in the shows. Before the show we got an entire buffet of different tapas. It was a fun game not to get some weird Octopus or squid... too squishy! At intermission we got scrumptious dessert tapas. The show was amazing! See one if you haven't!!

This time we decided to do it, take the tour bus. It was actually pretty worth it. Last time we saw all we could by walking from the hotel (blocks and blocks of walking) and saw quite a bit since the hotel is centered in the middle of all some very cool structures Antoni Gaudi. If anyone could make a building interesting, it's him. Gaudi was
very into mosaic which the city has continued to incorporate into their regular design. Park Guell is a massive representation of his mosaic work. Anyway... the tour buses were worth it. Very cool. Lastly, we actually went to a dance club. A kid at the ticket booth for the show recommended one that was as large as a city block and had 6 rooms (all with different music). It was quite insane and a lot of fun to see!

You have to understand that in Spain you do not go out until at least midnight. Their schedule is to get off work, hit the bar maybe have a drink and some tapas. No restaurant in their right mind is open at this hour, around 5pm. They actually close for 3 or so hours and re-open at the very earliest, 8pm. A regular time for dinner and it may be a little too early, is 10pm. The night we went out dancing, we'd taken a 2 hr. nap, got up and headed out for dinner around 10-10:30pm, made it down to the dance club around midnight and it wasn't even open yet! It was sort of in a desolate area so we walked to find a little bar to hang out at until 1am when it opened (closed at 5 am).

We did notice quite a few differences as I was saying from our 2005 trip to Barcelona. In 2005 we
did not meet one single person that spoke English [everyone speaks great English in Sweden!]. The menu's were difficult (no English), etc. Mexico-Spanish did not work out well. The 2007 trip, we met quite a few younger people mainly that spoke fairly good English and restaurants we tried to read the menu at in 2005 (on the main tourist strip) had menu's with Spanish, English, Dutch, French and a couple more I think.

Oh yes, we also met a cool couple from Texas on our tour, Ren and Misty. We still keep in touch a bit. Ren also does Triathlons. We took them to the club the night after we had already gone.

So that was our trip. A lot of fun adventures. I'm looking forward to exploring Rome this time. We will have the laptop with us so instead of a huge post like this, we may try to post each day-ish to keep up (so that it's not dreadfully long). I just wanted to catch up on our previous trip. I am really looking forward to seeing the Sistine Chapel and other works by Michelangelo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

eww gross!

I puked for the first time today since being pregnant. I felt like documenting it. *heehee* Oh I know... GROSS!

Even worse it was this morning at work. You must understand, at work we have one, shared bathroom nestled into the reception area that shares a fake-wood floor. The latter is important to note because it creates a shared-floor-echo that can be quite embarrassing. You can hear everything in the bathroom while at the reception desk. Lucky for me we have a female (Tiffany) at that desk and she's way cool. The door on the bathroom is as good as having a sheet up regarding noise level. Any cough, pee, plop or poof can be heard quite crisply! *haha!* It is absolutely horrible. I have "public bathroom paranoia" which basically means I hate having people listen to me pee. Anyway, I'm off track.

So I have noticed a huge change in my body/senses since my 12-weeks with Inchworm has arrived. He/She must be getting bored in there or something.
  • Puke this morning
  • Gagging at the sight of a lugee on the sidewalk
  • Gagging at any instant shift in smells
  • getting fatter
For instance, the bathroom does not smell bad it just smelled different, and it's cold. The air conditioning turns that thing into an instant icebox! So I think the chill on my skin plus the drastically different (cold) smell made me ill. Anyway, long enough post... hope I don't start making puke a daily habit, I won't stand for that!
A friend sent me this video (from YouTube). It made me think that John will probably have our kid snowboarding, skateboarding and in an ice-hockey league by 3 yr.s old! [kind of a long video but the kid is actually pretty good as it goes along. great balance and strength....along with a tough skull!]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interesting thought of the day...

So I thought this was pretty interesting. I randomly came across this video through a blog I follow and checked out what it was all about. Very interesting, Dove is doing a Campaign for Real Beauty.

The video that first caught my interest was this one:

The video is very impacting and shows our twisted society, yet I can't help but see that Dove is also promoting their new products with their campaign. It's great but really, read this portion I snagged from here (below if my snippet, the full article at the dove site is there).
The new phase of the campaign tackles the issue of body image and encourages women to Stand Firm to Celebrate Their Curves. The campaign helps support the new Dove firming products collection with messages provoking women to challenge beauty stereotypes: “Let’s face it, firming the thighs of a size 2 supermodel is no challenge” and “New Dove Firming. As tested on real curves.”
So Dove is also pushing a product to help firm those thighs like society needs them to be. It's not so bad and I think the campaign is neat and really does display our sickening idea of beauty.

It's like donating to charities and foundations at your local market. For example, Ben and I go to the store maybe once or twice a week for work snacks. We get hit up almost every time to donate to something or other. Safeway isn't an angel for promoting the donations, you know they are making a buck on the side off your donation. Maybe that's a little skeptical. I do on the other hand think that it's great that these foundations have found a stronger way to guilt the general public into donating. ;)

Anyway, that's my rant for today. Enjoy the films. The next one is hilarious... a parody of the first film.

Robyn's Little Limabean

Because she will never have a blog... I just wanted to let everyone know that Robyn had another Prenatal Appointment and everything is so far doing really well. She is around 14-weeks we think.

Her and Paul are pictured to the left with their first ultrasound which pretty-much looked like an amoeba or as Robyn referred, a Limabean. Our first
ultrasound was much better.

They normally don't do an ultrasound on this appointment but the nurse said that they could ask the Doctor if they wanted one. From what I understand, the Dr comes in and Paul says,"Hey, are you busy today? *hint hint*" In such a Paul-like-way.

Anyhow, they acquired an ultrasound which Robyn said they could see the arms and legs a bit and even a hint of the mouth. I can't wait to see it, I'll try to get a scan for everyone.

Lastly, Limabean (so he shall be called from now on), should be around 3 1/2 inches long and moving up in the citrus world because he's around the size of a lemon! Inchworm is still at lime stage. They are really counting on having a boy (he is not so happy in my artistic rendering of him). Paul grew up with three sisters and would just about die if he didn't have a son. We will see! 4 wks until we know!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Inchworm: 12 weeks

Inchworm has hit the 2-inch mark (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce! Hurray for Inchworm!

  • The face is beginning to look more human [oh good! we don't want an alien on our hands].
  • The eyes, which started out on the sides of the head, have moved closer together on the face.
  • The ears are near their final positions on the sides of the head.
  • The intestines, which have grown so rapidly that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into the abdominal cavity about now.
  • The kidneys are secreting urine into the bladder.
  • The nerve cells have been multiplying rapidly, and synapses (neurological pathways in the brain) are forming.
  • Inchworm also may have acquired more reflexes by now, including sucking, and may even squirm if I prod my abdomen, though I am told I still won't be able to feel movement for several weeks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tombstone Zombies

Last Friday Dad, Mom, Jack (dog) and myself went to visit a "Tombstone Quarry" up in Merlin (near Pottsville and Pleasant Valley). According to my dad, they just discovered it about 6-months ago while logging the (government) land it resided on. So far, they have decided to preserve the area used for the quarry. The quarry was supposed to have been used by early settlers in the area during 1800's. There is an overgrown cemetery near the quarry (Pottsville Cemetary) which supposedly used the granite resources for the earlier headstones.

It was a perfect day for the hike. Our first trial was getting through the multi-lock gate... as you can see, nothing could stop us, we broke through those locks!

I'm pretty sure there were ghosts or zombies lurking in the forest because Jack was acting like a chicken the entire time. All he wanted to do was cuddle and hide his head like an ostrich.

We did discover a few zombies...oh, wait, that's us!

Because our zombie-characters could not find any brains, we ended up going to Jerry's a local burger joint, for some lunch. What a fun day with my parents!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Inchworm: Week 11

Week 11! Inchworm is still pretty busy growing. Babycenter.com emailed me this update:

Inchworm, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig. She is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.
Not much has changed since last week. I did go on a number of walks and hikes. This week we are going to incorporate swimming along with more walking!

GOALS: I made an event/fitness goal for next year. I will have 4 months from June 1st to train for the Portland, OR Marathon (26.2 miles) which is held annually on October 5th. Hopefully we can find a 1/2 Marathon and/or other running event(s) between that time. Of course, June is a long way off and who knows. Having an event to train or prepare for is a great way to kick yourself in the but with motivation. Even if it's just something small. I tend to like to go all out. I guess it would be fun to say,"I had a baby and ran a marathon this year." Of course I have considered there will be things other than a new baby to deal with a month after the birth... such as leaky boobs and a baby-belly to overcome. haha! I'm sure it will all be an adventure!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Climbing "Biscotti"

You can clearly see the biscotti resemblance now right? Need I say more?
(as always, click the images to make them larger).

Hiking Pilot Rock was more than I imagined it was going to be!
From the left: John, Ben (my brother), Daniel (my brother), Me, Mom and Dad. John actually took this picture. Figure that one out...and it wasn't timed....yes, he might be magic.

This volcanic plug was slightly more than a hike as it leaned on the climbing agenda. Yes, we were literally climbing on our bellies up the biscotti towers.

Here I am, ready to go for it I guess!

I love that my parents are as crazy as us kids!

Last words at the top, before our tumble down!

ok, it really wasn't THIS scary! haha. But check out the angles!

*gobbble gobble* Canada!

Last week was filled to the brim with activities! I'm still catching up. Saturday, John and I drove the 1.5 hr. trip to Klamath Falls (OR) to attend a new annual tradition with his family.... Canadian Thanksgiving!

John is a 1st Generation USA baby. His mom is from Canada and his dad is from Mexico. Thus we traveled to Grandma's house to celebrate the holiday.

Currently John has a lot of family that now lives in K-Falls. Most of them moved from the big cities of California to the desolate villages of K-Falls area. It is really nice to only be a couple hours away instead of 6+hrs. We got to announce the coming of Inchworm and everyone was super excited.

From Top Left: Jen (our sister-in-law), Ken (John's brother), Grandma (Mary), Jaime, Tyler (cousin), Jannan (Aunt), Harry (Uncle), Kim (cousin).

From Bottom Left: John, Me, Tayler (our niece), Linda (John's mom), Uncle Ken, Aunt Zenida

Man's Project!

I have been wanting to build a TV stand for my big screen for quite sometime now. I have a "friend" of mine who said he would help me with this manly task about a year ago. I purchased the materials for the job at that time. I have had a huge piece of MFR,very thick strong pressed board, in my garage for the past year. It was very large and always in the way. I was getting tired of waiting for my "friend" to help me so I decided to tackle the job myself. The reason I was waiting for his help was mainly to have someone help me lift the very awkward 250lb TV. He was also a cabinet maker and had a decorative idea in mind for the stand. This monday I was tired of waiting so I cut the wood and decided to do a simple "dorm" style TV stand. I used 4 cinder blocks and two pieces of the MFR. I pre-assembled the stand in the garage to make sure it was strong enough and then carted everything in to the house. I cleared out the living room and moved the TV out of the way. I set up the stand and then had to figure out how to lift this thing myself, like a man! I ended up using a car jack, an extra cinder block and some motorcycle tie down straps, all very manly things! It took some very creative thinking, but eventually my TV was safely on the new "dorm" style TV stand. It is now about a foot higher and we really like the new angle. I am leaving it up to the wife to decorate the stand. That is a woman's job!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Place your Bets!

60-days until we find out what we're having (December 10th to be exact). I've added poll (as stupid as they are) to the right side panel. It would be fun to see what everyone is betting or hoping we will have.

I may force Robyn to start a blog so that we can do this for her. wish me luck. Please Vote!

Inchworm: Week 10

You can count on me doing this once a week because well, it's exciting and not many people know every little process. It's a lot of fun to follow the development. Here is the 10 week diagram if you want to visit it on the site.

This week, my email from BabyCenter.com regarding "week 10" tells me this:

How Inchworm is growing:

Though Inchworm is barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, Inchworm has now completed the most critical portion of development [I'm awarding a gold star here!]. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in the body rapidly grow and mature.

If I could take a peek inside my womb
, I'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.
  • Inchworm's limbs can bend now.
  • Hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and the feet may be long enough to meet in front of the body.
  • The outline of the spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from the spinal cord.
  • The forehead temporarily bulges with the developing brain and sits very high on the head, which measures half the length of his/her body.
  • From crown to rump, he's/she's about 1 1/4 inches long.
  • In the coming weeks, Inchworm will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.
My personal report on the whole so far:
  • I have not been sick in the least bit (Robyn is puking her guts out)
  • I feel mainly bloated and tired (super tired!)
  • I can see, but mostly feel the bitty "baby-bump" as it is referred, starting to appear. I'd take a picture, but I have my own little chub I'd rather not show off right now until it blends in. haha.
  • My goals to stay active are going slow but I have plans to start pool-swimming again and hit the treadmill at least twice a week (I work 10hr days 4days/wk + mollybean.com work on the side. It almost feels impossible to fit in working out unless I want to be up until midnight). I have been hiking and biking at least once a week though. On top of that I go on 15-min. walks 3xs a day with my brother during breaks. It's something right?
  • I haven't gained any weight yet, but I've lost around 5lbs (and it's not due to puke, exercise or lack of eating). It fluctuates a bit too so I haven't kept losing it... not worried, just an odd thing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

¿Habla usted español?

A blog I follow from uber-cool company, Less Everything posted a cool one today regarding a new, totally free web service for learning languages.

The service is brought to us by
Mángo Languages, (TryMango.com). It is absolutely free and a fast and easy-cheesy sign-up process (all you need is an email... not stink'n password). They just use your email to track what lesson you're on.

If you check it out and sign up make sure to spread the word to your compadres too!

...by the way, aside from the Spanish language, there are plenty of others to choose from...

9-weeks and counting....

This is what "Inchworm" looks like this week.... we may be a little over 9-weeks so give or take a little bit of growth.

I signed up (for free) at BabyCenter.com for kicks. Now I get an email once a week announcing the week I'm on according to the 5/5 date I originally punched in...along with lots of other random tips (and advertising of course!).

When I link to the site from my email, I get a a few interactive links in the diagram of things like eyes, earlobe, fingers, etc. (whatever is developing currently) with little pop-up notes. You can see
for yourself here if you like.

The email from BabyCenter.com tells me that my new resident is nearly and inch long [about the size of a grape] and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. It seems to be spot-on as we did get to see little arms and legs moving about before Inchworm promptly fell asleep. The ultrasound was quite similar to the shape of this diagram so having seen it in advance helped visualize the shape that we were looking at on the monitor.

OK... I HAD to do this. Because I have plenty of access to graphics software I cut out the baby in the image above to trace and compare to the ultrasound image. haha. Call me crazy or bored but it looks pretty cool. In any case, it should help those of you deciphering head from tail (which I'm told the "tail" has disappeared already).

Hiking Plans Changed....we're off to Pilot Rock

Well it looks like McLaughlin is off due to quite a bit of snowfall. My hopes are dashed yet again for a hike on that mountain. Better luck (and planning) next year!

We are now going to hike Pilot Rock. Kind of hard to find straight forward information online but it is located within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

My dad has better photos on his post about Pilot Rock rather than this glossed over one I got online. It is
located just around the Siskiyous

Did you know?

  • The [National Monument] was established by Pres. Bill Clinton in 2000.
  • The whole of the monument encompasses approximately 53,000 acres.
  • Pilot Rock is a volcanic neck or interior of an extinct volcano. Also seems to be referred to as an "ancient volcanic plug"
  • Pilot Rock is similarly formed to Devils Tower in Wyoming (Devils Tower in pic) and was used as a landmark to pilgrims just as Devils Tower was.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is located just outside of Ashland it appears. I'm really not too sure. [Click to enlarge the map]. You can see if from I-5.

Anyway, I'm sure we'll have lots of fun! I'm looking forward to a hike we haven't done yet. Wish everyone could make it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It's Raining Babies!

We are pregnant! I know, I know, Everyone's having babies and getting pregnant. But hey, we're excited!

We took three (different brands) tests just to convince us that we might be pregnant. Now we actually have an itty-bitty ultrasound to prove it.

Our said due date was/is May 5th (yes, cinco de mayo)... which is fitting given Johns background. The ultrasound measurement due date is April 27th. Time will tell.

Our first experience with an ultrasound was quite fun. When "Inchworm" (as my mom calls it) first appeared, the doctor pointed out the little legs kicking and moving around. We are around 10-weeks along. Wish us luck!

Oh by the way.... since they don't have blog, I can say this: Robyn & Paul are also pregnant and about a week ahead of us. Crazy news eh?!

Strap Yer Hik'n Boots On!

We are planning on hiking Mount McLoughlin this coming Sunday. It is the only day that John can go so we might do a Saturday trip again soon for those who cannot make this one.

DID YOU KNOW? (the bullet links go to wikipedia pages)

  • The Cascade Arc includes nearly 20 major volcanoes
  • Volcanism in the arc began about 37 million years ago, however, most of the present-day Cascade volcanoes are less than 2,000,000 years old, and the highest peaks are less than 100,000 years old. Twelve volcanoes in the arc are over 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in elevation, and the two highest, Mount Rainier and Mount Shasta, exceed 14,000 ft (4,300 m).

I found all the information here from Wikipedia. There is also this coolio WikiMapia of the mountain from a satellite/hybrid view.

It should be loads of fun. I haven't gotten to hike it for ages and have been looking forward to it. September was quite hot so we had to wait, but now it's a lot cooler... there may be a bit of snow too...? Ben and I are hoping to do some snowshoeing this year up there as well. We missed it last season. Hope to see you there!