Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Big News

My apologies for the long hiatus from blogging.  But at least I can say I have good reason (which most of you know already, since I think there are maybe 5 people who read this blog that are not my fb /real lifefriends) . . . I’m pregnant!

I am currently 17 weeks pregnant with baby #2!  The due date is May 21 (or 22, depending on which ultrasound you believe).  Guinevere will be about 23 months when this baby is born, so they’ll be almost exactly 2 years apart. 

For those of you who are wondering, no, this one was not exactly planned. (It’s amazing how many people have asked this question – a minuscule snarky part of me wants to respond, “You really want to know that much about my sex life?”)  It’s kind of funny, though, G was so planned.  When Aaron and I got married, we told people we would wait 5 years before having kids.  Five years later (almost exactly), we announced that we were expecting!  When it came time to having a second kid, Aaron and I had no idea what the timing should be.  We hadn’t really thought that far ahead.  We knew for sure that we wanted 2 kids, and it seemed like 2 years apart would be a good age difference – it seems kind of standard almost (you should see how many of my fb friends are now pregnant with #2 who also had babies in 2012!)  In fact, we literally had just started seriously discussing having another one and then . . . BOOM.  Pregnant.  So like I said, not exactly planned . . . but not completely unplanned either – if that makes any sense. 

The one nice thing about the timing of this pregnancy is that, assuming this kid isn’t late, I will be done having kids while I’m 35.  The downside is that I’m already 35; so all my medical paperwork is stamped with “advanced maternal age” (AMA).  Ha!  The nurses warned me about that ahead of time and told me not to freak out – especially since I’m exactly 35 (right at the cutoff for AMA).  Definitely glad they warned me, though.  Since I am 35, we had to meet with a genetic counselor and go through all of the risks associated with having a kid “later in life” and discuss the various tests that were available to us.  Fortunately, they now reserve amniocentesis for high-risk situations where you’ve already had bad results on earlier much more non-invasive tests.  Many of the tests are the same as before – basic blood work, NT scan, etc.  But there’s a new test that Kaiser has recently adopted where they draw blood and look for the risk of any chromosomal abnormalities.  A byproduct of that test is that they can tell the gender as early as 10 weeks!  So yes, we know the gender already.  We’re not really spreading it around yet, though – but if you ask me really nicely in person, I might tell you.

How am I feeling?  Exhausted!  I thought I was tired when I was pregnant with Guinevere . . . that was nothing compared to the exhaustion of being pregnant AND chasing after a toddler!  Plus, I’ve had a lot more nausea this time around.  With G, whenever I would feel a little nauseous, I could just eat something or have a glass of milk and the nausea would subside.  This time around, eating doesn’t really seem to help.  Now that I’m in my second trimester, most of the “morning” sickness has dissipated (morning = a wave in the morning, a wave in the afternoon and a wave in the evening).  I’m still getting some nausea at night, right before bed, when my exhaustion is at its peak.  

And that, my friends, is the major reason for the delay in my blogging.  Every night when I say I’m going to write something, I put G to bed, sit on the couch and fall asleep (or lay there in a ball not feeling good until I eventually fall asleep).  I really shouldn’t complain too much – I’ve had friends who have had much worse pregnancies than either of mine.  It’s really not that bad.  It’s just that I’m not used to having no energy and it really throws me for a loop!

Our little alien.  :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dancing Again!

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I last posted anything!  Life has been super hectic and busy.  Keeping up with a one year old, plus work, plus trying to keep the house in some semblance of an order has left me with very little energy in my limited spare time. Plus, my spare time is even more limited because I am dancing again!

Since I started this blog while I was pregnant with Guinevere, I realize some of my readers may not know my dancer background.  I grew up doing ballet, and continued doing it through undergrad and then semi-professionally for four years before going off to law school.  Even after law school I continued dancing and doing shows up until I got pregnant with G.  In fact, I was actually pregnant (I just didn’t know it yet!) during the last show that I did back in November 2011.

I’ve missed dancing so much during my hiatus – and now I’m doing a show again!  It’s called LA Unbound.  It’s one of those shows where several choreographers submit various pieces of various genres.  The piece I’m doing is a contemporary piece with half of us en pointe (including me) and the other half are barefoot.  Call me crazy, but I actually missed my pointe shoes!  Yes, my toes have experienced multiple blisters during the rehearsal period, but I really do enjoy dancing en pointe.  It feels like floating on air.

This show is kind of the perfect way to get back into performing again.  It’s a one-day only show, and because I’m only in one piece, the rehearsals have been only one day per week.  So it’s been minimal commitment, but maximum fun for me.

For those of you who are interested in coming to see the show, there are two performances, one at 4pm and one at 8pm on Saturday, November 9 at the El Portal theatre in North Hollywood.  Tickets are $18 in advance, $25 at the door.  Here’s a link for more information.

And now I will leave you with a picture of me from my more serious ballerina days :)

Photo by Chris McCaleb

Monday, September 9, 2013

Labor Day Weekend

Ok, I know I’m about a week behind in posting about our Labor Day excursions, but we were so busy having fun that I didn’t have time to write anything until now.  We had an amazing Labor Day weekend.  It honestly felt like a mini-vacation because we did so much.  We went to San Diego, came back up to LA to meet a friend’s baby, and then did Disneyland.

The Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we went down to La Jolla Shores in San Diego for a day at the beach to celebrate Aaron’s cousin’s wedding.  Aaron’s brother, Dominick, flew in for the occasion, so we had 3 adults plus Guinevere in the car – which worked out really well when G decided she was over being in the car.  I was already sitting next to her and could try to soothe her.

When we got to the beach, Aaron dropped the rest of us off and then went to find parking.  He had to park about a half mile away . . . oh La Jolla Shores!  Meanwhile, Dominick and I met up with my parents and Aaron’s mom and the rest of the family.  They had a nice tent set up on the grassy area at the beach and we ate some food and just hung out. 

Once Aaron finally joined us, I changed G into her bathing suit and took her down to the water.  She seemed to enjoy splashing around in the waves and walking in the wet sand . . . until a wave came in that scared her!  It didn’t even go that high – it maybe came up to her calf, but she wasn’t expecting it and got scared.  After that, she insisted on clinging to me every time we went near the water.  Other than getting slightly scared in the water, she had a grand old time walking on the sand and all over the grass!

My beach baby!

In the afternoon, Aaron’s cousin and her husband rented kayaks for a bunch of us.  Fortunately, both my parents and Aaron’s mom were perfectly happy to step in and watch G while Aaron and I went out with the kayaks.  I can’t believe I grew up in San Diego and never went kayaking in La Jolla!  We kayaked all the way out into the kelp forest and then over to the caves and back.  I will admit, it was a little nerve racking initially rowing out over the waves in order to get to the calmer seas.  But once we were out in the kelp forest, it was so calm and beautiful.  We saw more seals than I can count – both swimming in the ocean, and relaxing on the rocks in the caves.  After the beach, we went back to my parents’ house for dinner to rest and fuel up before the drive back up to LA.

The next day we went to a party at a family friend’s house.  Their son is like a cousin to me and he and his wife were in town with their 8 month old.  The party was basically an excuse to meet the baby.  I love watching Guinevere meet other babies!  She is always fascinated.  Of course, she’s about the same size as the 8 month old!  Our family friends have a pool and since it was in the 100s, we decided to take advantage of the “optional swimming” portion of the party.  G absolutely loved swimming!  I was a little worried that maybe her fear of the ocean would have carried over to pools, but she did just fine.  In fact, the floaty thing we borrowed had two tubes connected by small strips of plastic, and Guinevere could reach between them and “swim” by kicking her legs and moving her arms.  It was adorable!

On Labor Day itself, I took Guinevere to Disneyland.  Aaron had to work, so it was just Guinevere and me.  As we entered the park, Minnie Mouse was there.  She came over and said “Hi” to Guinevere, but since I was alone with Guinevere, and Minnie was just out and about for a walk, “not stopping, just saying hi,” according to her handler, I didn’t manage to get a picture.  After that, we headed over to Fantasyland and walked through Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  We also went on the carousel and Dumbo.  It’s so much fun watching Guinevere grow and seeing how each trip to Disney, she’s more interested in everything around her!

Linking to:

Cant Google Everything

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Brenda Blogs About . . .

Hi everyone!  Sorry it's been awhile since my last post. I promise I didn't forget about my blog. In fact, I've been hard at work on a major announcement that I can finally make today!  The name of this blog is now "Brenda Blogs About . . ."  I even bought my own domain name:

"Brenda's Baby Bump Blog" was conceived (haha, get it?) when I was pregnant with G.  Some people had suggested changing it now that I'm not pregnant anymore, and have lost all semblance of a "bump." For a while, I was perfectly happy leaving the name as is, since I will always consider G my little "bump."  But I found that the name was rather cumbersome.  It also felt like perhaps the name was constraining me to be just a "mommy blog."  While this is predominantly a mommy blog, I may want to write a post here or there about dance or theatre or current copyright issues or whatever comes to mind.  I feel that "Brenda Blogs About . . ." will enable me to have more freedom in my blogging topics and it feels more "me" right now.  

Fortunately, blogger lets me redirect to the new URL, so if you already have my blog bookmarked and/or are following on bloglovin, it (should) still work.  Please forgive me if there are any technical glitches associated with the changeover.  I'm still working on the layout/graphics, so bare with me . . . you may see several different iterations before I settle on anything.  I just couldn't wait to post about the new name any longer! :)

In addition to the new blog name, I also have new ways for you to follow me:
- Twitter: @bblogsabout (please don't hate me if I post political stuff that you don't agree with)
- Facebook: Coming soon!
- Instagram (yes, I finally broke down and signed up): brendablogsabout

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Steps!

Major announcement in our household: Guinevere took her first unassisted steps!  (Well, really, I should say, “step” as she only took 1 step and then fell over, but that’s ok.)  We’ve been thinking she would probably do it sooner rather than later.  She’s been able to stand completely on her own for a couple seconds at a time for a couple weeks now.  Then on Friday night, Aaron and I both got home from work at the same time (a miracle in and of itself).  Aaron’s friend, Dave (best man at our wedding), was over visiting.  G was suddenly standing really well on her own.  

We had a feeling she might take her first step that night.  So Aaron pulled out his phone to take some video.  Of course, his phone was completely full (seriously, we have to empty our phones so often now bc they fill up with so many baby pics & videos – anyone else have that problem?).  So Aaron was frantically trying to empty his phone while I tried to encourage G to take a step.  

She would be holding on to me and then let go and then look like she was going to take a step, but then she would either fall to the ground and crawl, or grab onto me or a toy.  Then finally, Aaron cleared enough space on his phone to take some video.  He trained the camera on her and this is what we got:

She took her first step!  And we caught it on camera!  How often do you get an actual first milestone like this on camera?  (Obviously, not counting planned milestones like first time riding a bike, etc.)  As you can see, we were very excited!  She didn’t take any other unassisted steps on Friday night and has only taken a couple more since then.  But she now stands on her own for several minutes.  And walks amazingly well while holding onto something.  It’s only a matter of time before she’s running through the house like a hooligan!

Linking to Rachel and Mommy Mondays.

Mommy Mondays

Monday, July 29, 2013

13 Months!

My baby is 13 months today!  It’s hard to believe her first birthday was only a month ago.  This past month has been insanely busy – both at home and at work.  I won’t bore you with details from work, though.  Instead, I’ll just give you an update on Guinevere.

Guinevere is now almost 17 lbs. and 28 inches long, which means she’s 10th percentile for both height and weight (i.e. 90 percent of kids her age are bigger than her).  She may be small, but she’s adorable . . . and really, I think I would be more surprised if my baby were a big kid!  When the doctor told me that she was 10th percentile, I turned to Guinevere and said, “That’s bigger than mommy ever was!” (I was 5th percentile for most of my childhood).  Her 12-month check up went well – aside from the shots.  I’m not sure who cried more – her or me!  The nurses handed me tissues when it was all over, but Guinevere recovered very quickly.  We had blood drawn for general tests and to see if she’s allergic to cats.  Guinevere has pretty bad eczema and we just wanted to make sure there wasn’t an underlying cat allergy.  Fortunately, we don’t have to find a new home for the cat because the test came back negative. (Whew!)

Fussy, but fine after shots.

Guinevere’s not walking unassisted yet, but she’s very close!  She can walk very well while holding your hands, and often walks around the house with us while holding onto just one hand.  When she’s not “walking,” Guinevere has become a pro at crawling.  Our daycare lady told us that Guinevere will be sitting with a group of other babies, size up her competition and see a toy that she wants to play with.  Then, before the other babies have a chance to realize what’s happened, she’s grabbed the toy and crawled away with it.  You should see her crawling after the cat!  She’ll be playing in the living room and then spot the cat and immediately spring into a bounding, joyful crawl trying to get to the cat . . . fortunately our cat is fast enough that I’m not worried about G cornering her and getting her nose swiped by a paw or anything like the.

Here's a quick video of G the first day she walked 1-handed:

Her current list of words and short phrases includes (in order of frequency): uh oh, I dropped it, kitty, yeah, daddy, oh dear, no, hi, bye, yes, mama (only when she’s super tired and fussy and wants something), and oh.  Often I will say something and then it sounds like she tries to repeat it, but then she won’t repeat it again on command.  Even without saying actual words, it’s often easy to figure out what she wants.  She’s very good at speaking in gibberish, but being able to indicate through inflection and hand gestures what she needs.

Guinevere also loves to sing!  The other day I was singing “Row Your Boat” and she started singing along.  Then for the rest of the day, I would occasionally hear, “row row row row row” coming from wherever she was playing.

She’s just now starting to play pretend.  She has a little toy cell phone and the other day, she kept holding it to her ear and saying, “Hi! Yeah, yeah, yeah.”  Tonight when I was getting her ready for bed, I was brushing her hair and she grabbed the brush out of my hand and tried to brush her own hair.  Then she tried to brush my hair!  I was very proud.  She also has a little tea set and she likes to pretend to drink out of the teacups.  I don’t think she’s quite figured out how to “pour” from the teapot yet, though – but that’s ok because I quite enjoy pouring it for her.

Linking up with Mommy Mondays:

Mommy Mondays