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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Good things happen to those who wait

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Monday, September 26 was not a regular day- it was the Due Day.
Monday, September 26 has been circled on our calendar for the past 6+ months
Monday, September 26 has been our point of reference for a major life change
Monday, September 26 was going to be my last day of work
Monday, September 26 was the day that ‘us’ would change from 2 to 3 (well 4 with Ruby)

Monday, September 26 has come and gone and now we wait…

Update and good news: Today at the doctor’s office we learned that Elaine is 1 cm dilated and things are moving forward at a good pace. It looks like our Libra baby will be an October baby. But October what?  The date that sits best with me and my guess since last week has been Monday, October 3rd.

Late like it was no big deal
Late like a library book
Late like most of our doctor’s appointments
Late like arriving to most of our social gatherings

Elaine’s parents, Ken & Ida, came up last weekend and it’s been fun having them around. Unfortunately I’ve had to work this week but we’ve had some good food, walks in Carpinteria, and more good food. Yeah we’ve eaten a lot and its been fun. Although there are no photos of the food, here are some photos of Elaine during the last couple days. Peace and be nice to each other -Mark


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

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Pregnancy.  I’ve heard people say they have felt fantastic and gorgeous and glowy all through there pregnancy… and I’ve known people who have done nothing but complain about one thing or another since the moment they found out they were pregnant.

I think I’ve been lucky for the most part.  I didn’t have much morning sickness , zero heartburn, no leg cramps at night… I don’t get a complex when people tell me I look huge, because lets face it, I am!  So I escaped some of those big pregnancy woes that I hear horror stories about.  But, I also haven’t been too short of complaints.  You know… I ran across this line in one of the many books I’ve been devouring of late, “It is said that a woman births pretty much the same way that she lives life.”  Well, I have yet to experience the proof of that, but I’d definitely agree in terms of pregnancy.  I’ve had my moments where I’m happy as a clam, enjoying this new experience, noticing the subtle and not so subtle changes and anticipating the big moments to come.  I’ve had times where I don’t feel so fabulous… but hey, this is part of the deal so what else is there to do but flow with it.  And I’ve had, as Mark can vehemently attest to, many a time spent whining, crying, or otherwise obnoxiously expressing my dissatisfaction with my various states of discomfort.

Looking back on the past several months… it’s most definitely been the best and the worst of times!

Biggest Pregnancy Complaints:

  • Body Aches.  This was something that I knew was coming in theory… but never contemplated the extent to which a 30 pound belly can effect your ability to do so much! Walk for instance! I used to walk everywhere.  To work, to the grocery store, to friend’s houses, to get coffee.  Now, anything above four blocks makes me extremely hesitant, because I know the result will be swollen feet, sore legs, incredibly tight hips and that oh so lovely shooting back pain.  Bending to reach something on the ground takes stable positioning, breathing and planning.  Rolling over in bed, something I took so much for granted pre-pregnancy, is now a slow, joint wrenching, grunt-filled process.
  • Hormones. These are no myth folks.  I have experienced more weeping, irritation, and irrational sensitivity during this time than EVER in my life before.  I don’t have much more to say about that except that I love and adore Mark for his patience and love and that he deserves the biggest shout out possible in the world for living through these crazy hormones with me.  I know it’s supposed to simply be chemical… but I really feel as though at times, my emotional capacity to process and react is reduced to a two-year-old level.  So part of me wonders if it’s nature’s way of preparing us for toddlerdom.
  • Sleep.  Or lack thereof.  This is the one that has become more of a problem as the months pass.  And has only really been terrible for the past couple weeks.  But seriously.  I have been dreading the time when I go to bed.  Because sleep has become so difficult. There’s the general body discomfort, which keeps me tossing and turning (ever so slowly)… the constant bathroom trips that interrupt my sleep… and my crankiness and frustration at my lack of sleep makes it even harder to settle back down again.  Although, last night is the first time in a while that I’ve slept for a glorious 11 hours, and was able to fall immediately back to sleep after my three middle of the night bathroom trips.
Biggest Pregnancy Loves
  • The growing belly.  Yes it’s caused several aches and pains… but come on, our baby is growing in there!  To watch my changing shape and know all the development and amazing changes that are happening on even a daily basis to change our baby from a few little cells to a living, breathing, blinking, kicking human!  It’s really a pretty phenomenal occurrence in such a short period of time.  (Plus… some clothes just look cuter with a bump)
  • Baby movement.  Another thing that, while uncomfortable at times, most of the time just takes my breath away.  Especially recently, I feel like he’s just ready to bust his way out of there.  Where he’s hanging out, his kicks and head butts and little arm swims are just so distinctive that I really do feel sometimes, like I can reach down and pick him up.  I can’t wait to have that wriggling, squirmy baby in my arms.
  • Enforced pace change.  The flip side of not being as physically adept during this time… is that I’m forced to slow my pace with everything.  If I rush things too much at this point… discomfort and grumpiness ensues.  Getting up takes time, walking has to be more of a stroll, even eating needs to be done with a little more awareness (or else my lime sized stomach fills up without my noticing and I’m stuffed and unable to move).    So the slowing kind of lends itself to more of a paying attention.  Noticing things around me, inside me, and necessitates an attitude of acceptance to all these bests and worsts that make up this crazy, lovely whirlwind of change we’ve had this whole year.
PS. My niece, Kerrey, had a dream that he was born exactly on his due date (which is tomorrow).  Let’s see if she’s got a little psychic in her…Baby Belly Silhouette

Ever So Slowly

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It’s a strange weather morning here.  Calm and still most of the time… and then every hour and a half or so there will be a few minutes of gusty wind.  Where Ruby will jump up to be closer to me and you can hear potted plants falling around the neighborhood and doors slamming shut by themselves and wind chimes tinkling and the clouds will race in billows to get to the other side of the sky.  And then it will all be still again, and Ruby will go back to being mostly concerned about her morning nap.

So here we are… 3 days and counting till the due date… but the due date is starting to feel irrelevant because I very much doubt this baby will want to come out by Monday.  What a comfy little life he must have in there, huh.  Although he has dropped significantly! Check out the belly now…

Belly 29 weeksSeriously protruding.  It looks like I’ve grown a ton, but it’s really just the dropping that makes it look so much rounder.  So each time I go into the doctor… they say things are progressing… but not to the point where labor seems imminent yet.

By the way, this photo was taken during our trip down to LA on Monday, our 29 week mark… which was such a fun day/night and felt almost like a mini babymoon.  Another little last hurrah.

Observatory Picnic

We had breakfast in Santa Barbara at Jeannine’s before driving down to LA, courtesy of a gift certificate from some fantastic friends 🙂  The Getty was a bust, since we didn’t realize they were closed on Mondays… but we ended up at the Griffith Observatory, which has some pretty great views of Hollywood, famous sign and everything.  A little strolling, a little picnicking on the Observatory steps, a little napping back at the hotel room, some Thai food dinner, and then a REALLY AMAZING Bon Iver concert.

Even the baby enjoyed the concert, and made it known by dancing in my belly pretty much non-stop for about three hours!  He’d kick real powerful during the more upbeat songs, and sort of slowly swirl and groove during the slowly songs.  And he had a pretty consistent rhythm on the downbeat going on.  Maybe he’ll be a drummer?

I don’t know if it comes across as well in this video… but, man, does he have some powerful movements now.  My belly gets warped into all kinds of shapes depending on where he decides to hang out.  And you can see how dramatically he rolls and shifts, just from looking! It still trips me out sometimes just to sit still and watch my belly move.

So we’ll continue to wait, and keep you updated if anything new and exciting happens! Or maybe even if anything silly and little happens.

Here is a little gallery of more LA photos, if you’d like a hipstamatic tour:

Notes from this Weekend

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All week we’ve been looking forward to this weekend.  Although I suppose if this little babe arrives after his due date, it won’t officially be our LAST weekend before parenthood begins… But we’ve been reserving it for ourselves anyways just in case.  A take it easy weekend.  An enjoy each other weekend.  A combination of conscious lounging, tying up projects, and fun outings that we may not be able to do for a while.

Our weekend is probably happening in that order actually.  Yesterday Mark had a huge allergy attack and spent most of the day sinusy and sneezing and eventually holed up in bed trying to nap it away (well… napping with one eye, watching football with the other).  I did some yoga, lots of reading, a little Netflix watching and some Tomato Carrot Soup and Lemon-Basil Macadamia Nut Pesto making!  That was our day of excess lounging.

Tomato Carrot soup

Today is shaping up to be the project day, with hopefully some lounging still inserted into parts of it.  And we’re super excited to spend the day and night in LA tomorrow for a long awaited Bon Iver concert, and possibly some Getty going.

I also wanted to show off our mostly finished baby room because not only is it our most decoratively put together room in the house… but it’s so colorful and breezy that I just want to stay in there all the time!  There’s a few empty spots on shelves I still want to fill, some scattered diaper cakes in the middle of being disassembled, and a low table under the window that I want to make a cushion for and turn into a bench…. but other than that… it’s pretty set and looking good!

Baby RoomBaby Room

And here’s the me and the baby belly… a couple days ago, at 28 1/2 weeks!

Post 38-week baby doctor appointment newsflash

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This little boy has started to drop!  Just a couple of inches… but hey, that’s the first step right?  I’ve started to feel what I think might be itty bitty completely irregular and greatly spaced out potential contractions.  One of those odd, unfamiliar kind of sensations low in my abdomen that make me suspect it’s a contraction… but how in the world can you know for sure because the feeling is slightly different for everyone, you know?  Like when I first thought I was feeling the baby move months ago… but wasn’t quite sure if I was just mistaking general tummy grumbling for the real deal.

However, my cervix is still closed… so our doctor guessed that he probably wouldn’t make his exit for at least another couple of weeks.

38 week doctor's appointment

So surprise surprise, the little boy currently taking up residence in my belly is most likely going to be late.  But that’s good news for us.  We still have things to do before the big arrival.  Important pre-parenthood activities… like a Bon Iver concert, some movie tickets and restaurant gift certificates to take advantage of, plenty of book reading and Netflix watching and some quality Santa Barbara/Carp time with my parents who are coming up in a week and a half!


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I know that for most people, Saturdays are the treasured day of the week. Signaling the weekend, and comfortably packaged between Friday and Sunday, there’s no need to get up too early, no need to go to bed too early. For most people. For the past few years though, I worked in a restaurant, and then I was a massage therapist. Saturdays, just another work day, have not been my favorite day for quite a few years now.

But now… I’m sitting in bed this morning with a cup of coffee, and some apple butter slathered sourdough toast. Mark is reveling over the Hawkeye game in the living room. And I have no plans for the day but to hang out with my niece Kerrey when she comes into town for the weekend.

Saturdays are sweet again.

What I love most about my home is who I share it withMark talked about our pregnancy photo shoot already… and I’m glad he snapped those few shots as a little sneak preview. It was really a gorgeous little corner of the beach. Not very many people, beautiful blues and a sunset whose light just seemed to linger until we were ready to leave. And it was fun! Like Mark said, we’re both a little nervously awkward during things like this… wanting more direction than we’re usually given. But once she started snapping photos… for me it was a flashback to our wedding day. Something seemingly more exposing like a photo shoot can sometimes narrow into an intimate little moment just between the two of us. Yes there are flashing cameras, and outfit changes, and new directions on how to pose… but then there’s pauses and the locking of eyes and the incredible awareness of the huge change that is about the take place in the form of something so small. Then it was a ceremony. Now it’s a tiny baby.

I did have to do a double take when I saw Mark’s post yesterday. 17 days!? Is there really just 17 days left?!

Well… give or take… because he’s showing no signs of wanting to come out yet. But I’ll tell you, for the last two and a half hours of last night, he was dancing, or boxing, or just having a good old time pouncing on various parts of his surroundings. Which just happen to be my insides. Several bathroom trips had to be made because of his breakdancing moves on my bladder! I wonder if this active of a baby while still inside my belly is any indication of how active of a baby he’ll be when he makes his appearance…?

Better enjoy our lazy Saturdays now.

17 days

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Hello bloggers it’s Mark and happy Friday.

I wanted to give you some updates and some more photos… updates first and then photos

Labor Day has come and gone, but labor day is right around the corner. This month is flying and we are  currently 17 days away to baby. A good chunk of me is looking forward to the next 17 (quiet) days and the other is wishing we could meet him tomorrow. It is a precarious position because I could use the extra time to wrap up projects but I am also trying to push as much as I can off my plate because I know that the day could be any day.

The only thing that comes close to comparison is waiting for Christmas, knowing exactly what your parents bought you, and having no clue when you finally get to open the presents.

On Wednesday, one of Elaine’s co-workers, Clarissa, took us out to a distant beach out near the Bacara for an “I’m pregnant and would like remember what I looked like when I was really pregnant” photo shoot. Other than arriving a little late, everything was great from start to finish. Of course we were our nervous selves at times but we sucked it up to be normal in front of the camera.

We’ll keep you updated on the professional photos but here are some from my phone… yes it is an IPhone and I am now way cooler than I was last week.

While it was warm when we started shooting it cooled down and we got to see an absolutely beautiful sunset.

Thanks for reading and talk soon