Catching time

It goes by without notice,

So slowly that it hurts,

Then all the sudden it’s gone with rapid bursts.

We always find a reason,

An excuse to say we will,

But when the world falls apart you’ll only wish you could be still.

Look at their faces with wonder,

See the magic in their eyes,

Cling to childhood before the luxury of time dies.

_____________

Our sweet Shrimpresses have grown into beautiful little girls, and our family has been blessed with our delicious baby boy.

Falk made his grand entrance on June 4, 2018, on what would have been his Grandma Irene’s 80th birthday. As the first boy, he did things his own way. Deciding to hold out until June for his very own birthday month. Keeping mama guessing with the false contractions for weeks up to delivery. And instead of arriving early like his big sisters, he was content to stay in his little pool until Bapa decided it was time to pull the plug.

We went to the hospital at 3 pm expecting a rushed delivery, but I had a nice relaxing evening with the epidural while he slowly built the anticipation (and contractions) for his birth day. Then just 3 minutes after 9 pm our little Falcon came into the world.

His head a mess of black hair, he was the first baby I was able to actually reach down to help hold into this world. When the doctors had cleared the extra fluids from his little newborn body, he and I snuggled skin-to-skin and I savored the seconds and minutes of getting to know my little boy.

He didn’t immediately look like anyone in the family, though perhaps the most like me since he was the most Asian looking of any of the shrimps. But he would come to be a carbon copy of big sissy Ella.

I immediately felt like we were enveloped in our own little love cocoon, and I was completely peace listening to his sweet suckling sounds against my breast.

Another special moment that only he got, was skin-to-skin with his Bapa. It’s perhaps one of the sweetest memories to have had my minutes old mini man resting on the bare chest of my favorite main man. The two of them together were the perfect fit to something I didn’t even know I’d been missing.

As daunting as it was to find out we were having a boy. As much as I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to bond as closely as with the girls. If I’d be able to share the same interests, or whether I’d know how to care for him. Any doubts and fears melted away when I looked into the big brown depths of his eyes. His is a soul I’ve known before. One I’ve been waiting for all my life. He is my true love. And the source of much humor for Zee Hubs, who teases me about becoming that mom for our baby boy.

As I lie here cuddled with my sleeping bundle of love, I can’t deny it even if I wanted to. Nothing in the world can tear me from his side. Forever my baby boy.

From the Love Nest.

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27 Weeks Later

I  have a confession. I am an alien host.

Or so my ever sensitive German Hubs likes to remind me over the new AM ritual of watching my belly move in waves while Zee Shrimpress practices her gymnastics skills. Pregnancy really is an amazing experience, but it’s also not ALL the glow and “cute belly” you hear about. Nothing I’m about to share will be any new, ground-breaking news. Plenty of blogs, books and uncensored friends will tell you the same thing. But here we are 27 weeks. Less than 100 days to go.

Sharing is Caring

To each their own on the 12 week rule. But let me tell you from a place of severe nausea…through 17 weeks. I seriously questioned whether that 12 week rule was really created by spiteful Moms who wanted everyone else to suffer as they had…But in all seriousness, this is a very personal decision but having a support group who can offer comfort and tips – especially one including friends who may have a little more recent experience with pregnancy than your Mom – can really help when you’re going through the exciting but scary, and potentially nauseating (literally) first few weeks of creating life. Because, by the way, THAT is a really big deal.

Baby Belly

The right of passage. The mark of a mama. The cute week by week belly pics! Because we all secretly want to be as stylish, creative and beautiful as adorbs mommy-to-be Jessica of Little Baby Garvin

MonthbyMonth

Not my story. I wish the sweet expanding evidence of your precious bundle for all of you, but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it) my belly didn’t “pop” until late in the game. This I later found out was true for most of my friends with their first pregnancy. So if you find your abs decide to show they were in fact there in existence all along, as they fight the fight against your growing baby. 1.) Appreciate that “Hey! I had a pretty kick ass body after all!” 2.) Be patient, because inevitably that little one will win out. It just might be more like 6 or 7 months along.

Making “her” presence known at #25weeks (which was actually during week 26, but not to be confused with 26 weeks…more on that below)

BabyBumpSelfie-Authenticity

Measure to your own stick 

Some mamas become pros at telling time and measurements. They start counting in weeks, then days. Lbs. to ounces. But if you’re like me pregnancy may be a bit of a haze from double lines to “oh hey, there’s less than a 100 days until we have a little person to keep alive…”. I’m finding that depending on the book, app, tracker, or whatever your ruler of choice may be, the “months” and “weeks” of your pregnancy may be slightly confusing. The Pregnancy HD app seems to help rush you along a little, in that it shows which week you are IN vs. which week you’ve completed like the BabyCenter App.

Some fun apps, sites and people that I’ve tried/followed based on recommendations from Jennifer Stano (AKA epitome of stylish Mama and future bestie – she just doesn’t know it yet;))

BabyCenter

BabyCenter has been my go-to for it’s basic, straightforward updates. However the comparison of the baby to veggies/fruit sizes is totally confusing. Somehow the baby goes from the size of a spaghetti squash to the size of a mango…pretty sure that’s smaller…

{Note: They do chance their measurements from size, length and weight, but Zee  Hubs and I found it a little funny}

Other fun apps are shared on JS’ Instagram for Nikosfavoriteproducts:

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By the time she posted this we were already relatively far along, so I haven’t used a lot of the others much. But I did like the interface for Sprout Baby and Pregnancy HD. They were both more visual than the BabyCenter app, but in general most apps seem to have similar components: Week by Week information, Checklists, Kick Trackers, places for your appointments and Registry ComponentsWonderWeeksWord from the crib is that The Wonder Weeks will become your sanity after your baby makes his or her entry into the world. Recommended by JS and other friends, it’s an informative guide to help understand the changes your baby continues to go through after leaving the womb.

READ.ALL.THE.THINGS.

No really don’t. Unless you have time and love getting all the details, don’t feel the pressure to read everything. Instead find your Board of Mamas – 3-5 close friends who’s lifestyles and parenting styles you like – and ask them for their recommendations, copies of birth plans, lists of things that you absolutely need for baby and YOURSELF, etc. And then throw in a spa day thank you for them 😉

For the reads that you do want to do on your own, it’s really up to you and your hubby. But basically the “What to expect” types are largely the same things you’ll read online from sites like BabyCenter, Pregnancy, etc. Some books that I’ve found really helpful and clicked with our personal style are:

Baby Bargains Bringing Up Bebe Kiss me

Baby Bargains is a popular book, but one I didn’t hear about until one of my Baby Board Members sent it my way after repeated texts of “Does this matter?…What about this?…What’s the best brand for this!?…”. It’s packed with product and brand information, but also really helpful, quick summaries on why things are considered “better” or “safer” than others. I recommend getting the physical copy so you can tab it, post it, mark it up!

Bringing Up Bebe was another friend recommendation. It’s really clicked for us personally because the philosophy is about understanding your baby, being observant to their patterns and cycles, setting boundaries but with room to learn and why not making your baby the epicenter of the world might be better for them an you. Quick, insightful and enjoyable!

Kiss Me: How to Raise Your Child with Love – Jennifer Stano, if you ever come across this post, you’ve been my Fairy-New-Mommy-Mother. JS posted a quote/pic on Instagram from reading this, which stuck me. So this was one of my first reads and I loved pretty much all of it. It’s not necessarily a parenting guide (though can be taken that way), but more asks pointed questions about why we believe and do what we do in parenting. From a psychological standpoint, we really clicked with this one! For example it talks about reprimanding babies when they don’t share their toys, but then flips that to think of it within context. So, when was the last time you let a stranger borrow your phone or your purse?…go on…right? Love it or leave it, I think it’s a great reminder to not see things through your babies eyes.

Not pictured, but an OBVIOUS watch/read for us was Happiest Baby on the Block. Brilliance people. Brilliance.

So what about all you mommy-to-be’s and full-fledged mommies? What have been your favorite finds and discoveries along this process?

When I wake up…

napsfixeverything

Throwing sparkles and pink streamers around the room, I didn’t know. When I picked up my best friends from LAX, I didn’t know. Dressing up, singing, dancing, poolside bathing. I didn’t know.

Rides along the pier and handstands in the sand. All the while I didn’t know.

But I thought. I dreamt. I hoped.

And after the girls went home and the haze of the weekend’s distractions cleared, we found out.

We were pregnant.

After all the angst and unfounded, crazy fears, we had created a perfect little life. We were going to be meeting our precious little Shrimpress.

24 weeks later, Zee Hubby’s office has moved out to be replaced with a princess’ crib, complete with chandelier and crown overlooking where Zee Shrimpress will dream. We’ve survived 17 weeks of “morning” sickness (a cruel misuse of the word in every sense). We’ve seen her twirling in my tummy and felt her funny little feet kicking. She’s a dancer.

It’s crazy to know that in 4 short months our lives will be forever changed. Our hearts will forever be open, vulnerable to ever tear, giggle, fear of this little person. In the 6 months of knowing she’d be joining us (did YOU know pregnancy is actually 10 months long?…), our world has already been turned upside down. What we once thought important somehow seems silly and irrelevant. New priorities form every day the closer we get to her arrival, the more we realize what we want for her. What we dream for her…

And oh what glorious dreams they are…

dreams

OMCuteness Overload

THIS. KID.

Hipster Baby

 

Died. This kid just killed me with her cuteness. I  mean. HIPSTER BABEH!

And apparently you can totally make her adorable knit scarf (hypothetically, because if you’re me and all knitting projects end up looking like sorry attempts at Celtic knots. Well then, you’re out of luck) if you hop over to this lovely guide —–> HERE {cue cuteness}

And in other news, it’s 12 min. past the last repeating date of a century.