it’s time

Well, after eating all of the spicy food I could handle (including a ridiculous pizza that is known to induce labor), lots of fresh pineapple, walking/waddling everywhere, and  bouncing on my yoga ball, baby boy has decided he does not want to come out on his own. I am scheduled to check into the hospital tonight to start the process of inducing labor.

Hopefully, tomorrow at this time I will be in active labor about to meet my son for the first time. When I think about how that moment will feel my heart swells with happiness that it feels like it might burst out of my chest. I am crying a little bit right now as I write this. And then I think about not being pregnant anymore and how that will feel. For the past 41 weeks he has been inside my belly where I can keep him safe. Now I have to share him with the world and all of the craziness that comes with it. And then I cry again. But I compose myself and think about the adventure that I am about to partake in and how much more exciting, beautiful, and full of love my life is about to become. I have become more in love with my husband throughout this whole pregnancy. Every time I feel sad or nervous about this pregnancy being over, I think of him holding our son for the first time. If it feels this great in my imagination, I cannot imagine how beautiful the experience is going to be in reality.


PS: I plan on blogging about my birth experience but if you want to find out exactly when baby boy is born, I will most likely announce it here first.

my birthday

Today is my 27th birthday making me the exact same age as my mother when she had me. I love that. I plan on spending the day with Reggie relaxing, eating my favorite foods, and maybe seeing a movie. Oh, and maybe having a baby. Until my little one decides to grace us with his presence, I will leave you with a picture of me when I was a baby. This was taken shortly after leaving the hospital. Told you I was huge!


why i don’t have a birth plan

Today is my due date and while most women do not give birth on their actual due date, I thought today would be a good day to talk about my plan when the big day actually arrives. I know many women walk into their labor and delivery room with a list of things they want to happen. Dim lighting, no IV, drugs/no drugs, walk around during labor, etc. To be clear: I respect these women immensely. I am simply not one of them. I have never written out a formal birth plan and I have no plans to do so for this pregnancy.

27 years ago today my mother went into what she thought was labor with me. How is that for full circle? She went into the hospital after what she thought was her water breaking but something did not seem quite right. I am not going to speak for her or tell too many details of her story because it is her very personal story to tell but to say the image she describes is unsettling is an understatement. For some reason the hospital sent her home despite her symptoms.  Hours later, she returned to the hospital because she knew something was not right. She trusted her instict that something was wrong. Moments after arriving at the hospital for a second time, her doctor realized that I was in distress and she was rushed off into surgery for an emergency C-Section. I was a large baby—over 10 lbs and for the 1st couple moments seemingly healthy. They hurried me off to the nursery to be cleaned up while they finished my mother’s surgery. Soon after arriving in her recovery room a young nurse walks into my mothers room shaking and can barely utter the words that I stopped breathing several times and they needed to air lift me to Boston Children’s Hospital. Turns out, I had aspirated meconium. Moms out there know that it is a sticky, tar-like substance so imagine that in a newborn baby’s lungs. I was diagnosed with double pneumonia and was in the NICU in Boston for the first month of my life. All 10 lbs of me. I barely fit in the incubator. Nowadays when this happens, it is certainly not ideal but doctors are far more skilled at identifying the problem quickly and getting the baby into the NICU. This was not the case the day I was born. My mother’s voice still shakes when she tells the story. Scariest moment of her life she always says.

I am not saying this to scare anyone. Keep in mind my mother was over 2 weeks late which most doctors would never allow anymore mostly because situations like this are more to happen when the baby goes a long way past their due date. But my feeling for my personal situation is that I have no clue how my body is going to react to labor or if I will even go into labor on my own. My parents took a long 8 week childbirth class with every intention of having a beautiful natural childbirth. But things obviously did not work out like they wanted. My mom told me from the beginning to be open minded about how my son comes into the world. I may not listen to all of her advice but that is one area where we certainly agree. In the end all that matters is a healthy baby. Yes, it is cliche but I think we can all agree that it is true.

So I guess I do have a birth plan but it is simple: healthy baby. And the sooner I can get skin to skin contact and breastfeed, the better. That is it. I firmly believe in being educated on your options for child birth. I have read all the books. Reg and I took a childbirth class. My feeling is that I would like to avoid a C-Section because it is major surgery. But I am 100% aware that I may have no say in that matter and that is okay too. I just want to meet my son.


baby gear

You know how I posted about how great I was feeling on Monday? Hilarious! I woke up yesterday feeling awful and wanting to have the baby NOW. I keep reminding myself that 1) I am not technically due until tomorrow so I should probably take a chill pill and 2) the longer he bakes, the more time he has to develop and grow.

In the meantime, I am staring at (and occasionally playing with) all of the wonderful baby gifts we received over the last nine months. When I selected items for our registry, I spent a lot of time researching each item. I probably spent too much time doing this but I had a lot of time on my hands. I highly recommend the book Baby Bargains when creating a registry or for buying any baby item in general. This book is filled with bias free reviews for just about every brand out there. Here are some of the items I am looking forward to using the most:

aden + anais Swaddling Blankets

Made with bamboo and super lightweight for my summer baby. These are so soft that I want to be swaddled in them. Seriously.

UppaBaby Vista Stroller

This was a big ticket item for us that my parents generously purchased. I became a bit stroller obsessed when I found out I was pregnant, asking every mother I saw about her pick. No question, the UppaBaby was the most highly recommended and since we live in a place where we walk a lot, I know it was worth it. Plus, it is incredibly easy to use with one hand and made with eco-friendly materials. Mama like!

Graco SnugRide Car Seat

This was an easy pick: high safety rating and holds a baby up to 35 lbs. or 32″ so we should be able to use this for almost a year. Yes, it is a little heavier than some of the other car seats out there but I am just looking at that as an opportunity to work my arm muscles a bit more. Hopefully I won’t be cursing this decision later.

I have to mention this… people are always talking about how challenging car seats are to install but Reg installed this one perfectly the first time. We had it checked out at the hospital and even the staff was impressed with his skills. He was so proud. It was really adorable!

Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner

I am pretty excited about these diaper pail liners because I can throw them into the wash with the cloth diapers and I didn’t have to buy a fancy diaper pail.

Snuza Halo Baby Monitor

I am really looking forward to using this product the most because it monitors the baby’s movement. This little device fits in the palm of my hand, clips onto the front of his diaper, and detects even the smallest movements. The Snuza uses vibration stimulation to gently rouse the baby if movement is not detected after 15 seconds. If no movement is detected after 3 vibration attempts, an alarm will sound. I like this because the baby does not need to be in the crib for us to use this monitor like the Angelcare version. He could be taking a nap anywhere. The Snuza was definitely pricey but I can’t really put a price on peace of mind. I have another monitor to use when he moves into his crib but for the those first couple weeks, this one should be perfect.

I love having a humidifier in my own room just because it is so dry in California. Plus, the white noise is highly recommended to simulate noise from the womb and help the baby sleep more soundly.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag

Originally, I did not want one of these Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bags because they are EVERYWHERE. Seriously. But then I picked one up and played around with it. There are so many pockets and it is so comfortable even when full. I practiced using it with my squirmy pug and it was still really comfortable and easy to use. I told you I had way too much time on my hands.

Obviously baby boy is not here yet so I haven’t actually had a chance to use any of these yet. I will provide a follow up review for everything and of course include anything that made a huge difference that is not on this intial list.

Question to the mamas out there: What is your list of must have baby gear?


the hospital bag

I am about to head to the doctor’s for my 39 week appointment so I will definitely be blogging again soon with an update. I am a little nervous my little guy flipped back into the breech position so I am definitely twiddling my thumbs waiting to get there and find out if he turned back. Speaking of twiddling my thumbs, I started packing my hospital bag weeks ago in anticipation that I would go into labor soon after the ECV procedure. Yeah, not so much. My little dude is not ready to arrive yet. I don’t really blame him. His current home is like a 24 hour buffet while floating in a warm pool. I might want to stay too. But when he arrives, I want to have all I need at the hospital with me so Reg doesn’t have to take any trips home.

I have most of the basics that experts recommend: nightgown for me, nursing bras, going home outfit for baby boy (and me), camera, toiletries, slippers and socks, receiving blankets, chargers for cell phone and camera.

Now I need a little help from my fellow mamas out there. What do you wish you had brought to the hospital? Was there anything you brought with you that you absolutely did not need? If you could help me out, I would really appreciate it. Thank you 🙂


UPDATE: Baby boy is still head down. We have also confirmed that he has a huge booty, thus my confusion. He is bringing a whole new meaning to the saying “baby got back.” 😉

baby update


First of all, Happy 4th of July! I hope you are enjoying your time with family and friends and have some fun plans with yummy eats. We are laying low over here but more on that later. Second, thank you for all of your kind words on my last post. The whole experience was scary but it made me appreciate this pregnancy even more and fall even more in love with my baby. I am happy to report that baby boy is healthy and thriving.I had to go back to the hospital for a non stress test but he passed in about 30 minutes. Now I am just waiting to go into labor.

In the meantime, I came down with a horrible cold since I left the hospital and have barely been able to get out of bed (or blog apparently). After spending the last 4 nights with a humidifier and Vick’s rub all over my chest, I am finally starting to feel better. I really want this cold to go away because I feel like I could go into labor at any moment. In addition to feeling really weak from my cold, ever since we left the hospital I have been having infrequent contractions, intense low back pain, and nausea reminiscent of the first trimester. Plus, it is 100 degrees outside and anytime I leave my house I feel like I am going to pass out. I have loved being pregnant–truly, but I think at this point, I am ready to have this baby. The nursery is done, the car seat is installed. Everything I could possibly organize has been organized and then organized some more. We are ready when you are baby boy.


maternity photos

About a month ago, Reg and I ventured out to a local park to take some maternity pictures with our amazing newborn photographer, Emily. The location was a perfect fit because it was beautiful on its own but also provided a blank canvas. Seeing as we wanted a natural, earthy feel with some quirky whimsical elements, Emily could not have suggested a better place. Plus, the whole shoot was so fun. Emily is the type of person that puts you at ease immediately and I felt like I was hanging out with a good friend the whole time. I think having a photographer you vibe well with is so critical for getting images that truly reflect who you are as a person. I think Reg and I both agree we could not be more thrilled with the finished product. Now, even more than ever, I am looking forward to the newborn pictures that will capture those sweet and extra squishy first days with our son.

camp g

Today marks one week without my pug. Once I realized that I might need a C-Section, I knew that having my hyper pug to take care of in addition to a newborn and recovering from surgery was going to add a lot of stress to my life. Fortunately, my parents quickly offered to take care of him for the next couple (maybe several) weeks. I was really resistant to the idea at first because I am very attached to my dog. But, in the end, I knew that it wasn’t fair to him to be stuck in our apartment when I couldn’t be as active with him as usual in addition to being better for my health at the end of my pregnancy. I move slower and all of his pulling and jumping was making me anxious. I still sobbed when they picked him up.

Naturally, my fabulous sisters who live with my parents really tried to cheer me up. They have started referring to his time with them as “summer camp.” More specifically, they call it Camp G. My sister Gingi came up with that one. They are so cute and send me pictures of his daily activities and he looks like he is having a blast.

Learning to swim with the Sam, our family dog

Cuddling with flowers

Backpacking with Aunty G

Note: No pugs were harmed in the taking of this photo

Lots of afternoon naps

I feel so good about our decision, despite missing our daily cuddles. He is a sweet dog but he misses living in a house with a yard and acts out frequently when he doesn’t have space to run around freely.  A couple months after the baby arrives we are planning to move into a house in Southern California to be closer to my family and I can’t wait until our little family is reunited.


hello, i love…BarbersQ

Reggie is not into making a big deal out of holidays and he didn’t have any sort of expectation for Father’s Day, especially since he isn’t technically a father yet. I, on the other hand, tend to make a big deal out of holidays (and pretty much everything else in my life) so I wanted to take him somewhere fun to celebrate how special he is to me. Selfishly, I have been craving barbeque and knew that I wanted to take him somewhere with really kick ass barbeque. I had been stalking the menu at a barbeque spot in Napa called BarbersQ. They have great reviews and I love that they try to use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. So when I saw that I could make a last minute reservation we headed up to wine country.

We were seated right away and the service was authentically warm and friendly from the moment we walked in the door. Immediately, I ordered some of their homemade cornbread and honey butter to start.

What arrived was some of the most delicious, moist cornbread I have had in a while. The honey butter added just the right amount of sweetness without overpowering. Yum!

Also upon seating we were informed that they were out of several of the barbeque items that I had planned on trying (brisket, ribs) so I was sort of disappointed. They did, however, have some of their special Sunday night fried chicken so Reg ordered that right away. Flustered with the lack of barbeque, I ordered the BBQ shrimp in a hurry. That is a weird choice for me but I am pregnant so unusual eating is sort of expected. Luckily, the choices we made were fantastic.

The fried chicken was juicy, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. Definitely lived up to the hype. Our server presented us with a homemade pepper vinegar to add to the chicken and it definitely enhanced the flavor, without overpowering. I highly recommend adding that if you order this dish. Reggie’s favorite ingredient on the planet is the potato and he loved the mashed potatoes. Surprisingly the gravy was a standout because it was not heavy and overly salted as most gravies tend to be. The collard greens on the side were a first for him and he seemed to really enjoy them. I loved them but then again I love anything cooked with any sort of bacon.

The BBQ shrimp were light and fresh with a hint of spice. At this point in our meal, this is where the service just kept getting better. My dish actually did not come out with the rest of the food because the chef didn’t like how they came out the first time. I appreciated that a lot because there is nothing worse than overcooked shrimp.

My favorite thing we ordered was, by far, the macaroni and cheese. See, I consider myself a sort of mac n’ cheese expert. I was a pain in the ass willful child and I pretty much only ate mac n’ cheese for the first 15 years of my life. My taste has thankfully matured but I still appreciate trying different versions. This one had the perfect amount of the creamy sauce with a hint of sharpness and a buttery crust. I could have devoured it all myself. Luckily for Reg, I shared. This is a must order friends.

I am not even going to pretend that we didn’t finish any of our plates because there was literally not a crumb of food left. Somehow we had room for dessert. I think that has something to do with the fact that both Reg and myself have been eating like a teenage boy lately.

In addition to craving barbeque, I have been craving Key Lime Pie. So when I saw that as an option on their dessert menu, I was sold. At least one craving was satisfied! What arrived was one of the creamiest, dreamiest lime pies I have ever tried. Topped with fresh, homemade whipped cream, I licked the plate clean. On top of it all, I was “mmmming” the whole time. I must be so embarrassing to take out in public. My husband sure loves me a lot. So I gave him the last bite.

Overall, I loved our experience here. We definitely plan on visiting again and hopefully that time I can actually try my beloved barbeque. But judging from our experience, anything you order at this restaurant is prepared with care and talent.


two things

“People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one, and we’ve just begun, Think I’m gonna have a son. He will be like she and me, as free as a dove, conceived in love, sun is gonna shine above.” -KL*

(Photo via A Cup of Jo)

Two things happened this weekend. First, we chose our son’s full name. After my dream last week, his first name made perfect sense and the rest of our list just disappeared. Now I can’t stop myself from giggling and calling him by his name every chance I get. I love this little boy so much already.

Second, I felt a serious transition in my own thinking. For the last nine months, my emotions have gone from really scared to moderately scared. We were as ready as we could be as a couple to be parents when we started trying to have a baby. But once I found out I was pregnant, I became really nervous. What do I do with a real live baby? What was I thinking when I assumed I could raise another human being? Don’t get me wrong, I was excited. But I would lying if I said I hadn’t thought about my own upbringing and how I would bring those emotions, anxieties, and memories into my parenting. My husband is such an amazing partner and really helped me work through my anxiety. He reassured me that once we meet him, we will only be looking forward, not back. I am sure that the years ahead of me are going to be filled with uncertainty and even guilt. But mostly, they are going to be filled with love. Over the weekend, as I was floating in the pool trying to get my precious babe to turn, I truly felt weightless. I have a clean slate with my child and together, with my husband, will build our home for our family. We will create a home filled with warmth, adventure, open minds, and lots of love. All of my anxiety turned into a peaceful feeling and the transition feels amazing. We are ready. Can’t wait to meet you baby J.**

*I am an unapologetic Kenny Loggins fan. I met him once when I was 13 after one of his concerts in Boston. He told me I had a beautiful name and I have been smitten ever since.

**Name hint 😉