Monday, March 28, 2016

Family Vacation to Mexico

As I mentioned before, my family went on a vacation to Mexico last month. Sadly, due to the threat of the Zika virus, I chose not to go. It all worked out in the end, since I got to see my friends in Harrogate, and Dan and Z still got the beach vacation they had been looking forward to.

Since I wasn't there though, I can't really give a recap of the week. I'll just post some pictures instead.

Getting There:
My parents were amazing and surprised Dan and Zahara with an upgrade to FIRST class! I'm so jealous!

The Resort:
The family stayed in Raintree's Club Regina in Puerto Vallarta. I was so jealous of them swimming in the gorgeous pool with the beach right in the background.

Puerto Vallarta
The city looked beautiful!

The Beach
This was one of the main reasons we didn't want to cancel the trip even when it was clear I wouldn't be able to come. The beach is Zahara's happy place. I can't say I blame her.

More than anything, this was an amazing opportunity for Z to spend some time with her grandparents and aunt. And, of course, to get some quality daddy-daughter time. Thanks so much for a wonderful trip, family!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Week 22!

Dates: March 16-22

Baby is the Size of a: spaghetti squash (approximate length and weight: 11 inches, 1 pound)

How I'm Feeling: Incredibly grateful that I have a healthy baby inside me, and that aside from some relatively minor aches and pains, I am also healthy. It's easy to get lost in the day-to-day, but I know how blessed I am.

How I'm Changing: My belly button is ridiculous. I don't know how much more of an outie it can become. I'm hoping this is it.

What I'm Eating: I had an incredible veggie sushi bento box with my friend Dani. It was HUGE and delicious! Don't tell anyone, but we also split a salmon and avocado roll. I was on the fence about whether I should eat raw fish, but I just can't find any legitimate medical reasons why not to. Yes, listeria is a concern, but there have been very few (if any!) confirmed cases of listeria due to sushi in the United States in the past several years. I think this sushi avoidance issue comes more from America's sue-happy culture than from science. That said, I guess better safe than sorry? I won't be making an every-day habit of this, but every once in a while I might indulge. Chipotle though...that's a whole 'nother story.

What the Baby is Doing: I am starting to see baby move from the outside. As Dan described it, it looks and feels to him like I have the hiccups.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 22

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Weeks 20-21!

Dates: March 2-8

Baby is the Size of a: banana (approximate length and weight: 6.5 inches crown to rump, 10 inches head to heel, 10 ounces)

How I'm Feeling: I'm feeling thrilled that I got to see the baby this week! I had my 20 week anatomy scan and saw a healthy, very active little BOY! He was no where near as shy as his sister was. It's always fun to see him moving on the screen while feeling him move from the inside. Very surreal. Sadly, Dan wasn't able to join me. Z got a little stomach bug after Mexico and so he had to stay with her while I went to the appointment. That was pretty sad, but I think Dan will get another chance to see the baby later in the third trimester.

Physically I'm feeling OK. I've been feeling a lot of aches and pains (mostly round ligament and back pain). I am really making an effort to take it a bit easier and stop the pain before it gets too bad.

How I'm Changing: I'm very clearly pregnant now, which is always a fun milestone to reach. Sometimes I feel like my stomach is getting so big, but then I remember what big really looks like. I've still got a ways to go!

What I'm Eating: I just want sweets all the time, which is to say I'm back to my old self. Also, my work makes an avocado sushi that is outstanding. I've been loving that!

What the Baby is Doing: I am feeling the baby's movements higher, so it's clear to me that he's growing and moving up. He is just as active as Z was!

20 week scan!

Dates: March 9-15

Baby is the Size of a: carrot (approximate length and weight: 10.5 inches, 12 ounces)

How I'm Feeling: A little freaked out about labor. Yes, I know that I've already been through it once, but I think that makes it even worse--I know what's coming. We had a hospital tour this weekend which is why I'm thinking about it more than usual.

Other than that, I'm feeling good. We had dinner with some friends this week who are due a week behind me. It's fun to swap stories with someone who is going through the same things as I am.

Best moment of the week was Saturday morning when I had Dan and Zahara feel the baby kick for the first time. Zahara reacted in the best possible way: she got really close to my belly and said, "Hi baby brother. I'm your sister Zoey." Is that amazing, or what?

How I'm Changing: Belly is definitely getting bigger and is starting to get taut. I'm seeing a couple of very light stretch marks above my belly button, right where I had one last time.

What I'm Eating: Nothing too unusual. We had steak this week though and it was delicious!

What the Baby is Doing: Baby does not stop moving!! It's almost distracting at work!

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 20
Week 21

Monday, March 14, 2016

Harrogate Reunion Trip

Nearly a year ago my family planned a vacation to Mexico. It was going to be a week of relaxing on the beach drinking pina coladas while my parents and sister played with Zahara. Dan and I planned a special kid-free lunch at a restaurant nestled in a jungle only accessible by boat. Sounds lovely, right? Sadly, it didn't quite work out that way. Due to Zika virus, I had to cancel my trip to Mexico. Rather than sit at home and mourn my lost vacation, I truly made lemonade out of lemons by planning a trip to Harrogate!

Baby's first plane ride: 18 weeks pregnant

It's been a year and a half since I'd seen my friends back in England and I missed them terribly. If not for this unexpected bonus trip, I honestly don't know the next time I would be able to see them all. I feel so lucky that this all worked out as it did.

I've mentioned the yoga mums before, but I really can't say enough about these girls. A group of eight of us have been friends since our kids were in utero. I have literally watched their kids--who are mere days apart from Zahara--grow up. Thanks to the power of technology, we've been able to keep in nearly-daily contact. Because of that, from the moment I arrived it was like nothing had changed. Except for the two new babies and three new bumps, of course!

The second I mentioned my plans to come to Harrogate, I felt an outpouring of love that literally brought me to tears. People were fighting over who would host me! Can you imagine? We mapped out the days so that I would get to spend the most time with the most people. Basically, it involved talking, eating, and watching the kids play. It was heaven. Here are some of the highlights:

The Kids
These kids! I cannot believe how big they are. I realize that my own daughter is exactly the same age, but my last in-person memory of these kids is from before they could walk or talk. Now they are little people with amazing personalities and imaginations.

Betty's is one of my all-time favorite spots in the world. There is just something about their tea that can make everything right. I crave their scones, and I've never seen Welsh rarebit done anywhere like it's done at Betty's. I love this place so much that I went there four times in my six days!

Cream Tea!

Welsh Rarebit

The real highlight of the trip was spending time with my friends.

Ripley with yoga mums

Royal Bath Chinese

Betty's with Becky and Chloe

The yoga mums put together a little "mummy shower" for me on my last night. We had virgin mojitos, had a fantastic dinner, and played fun games.

In addition to my yoga mum friends, I also saw some good friends from other circles. I spent a wonderful Sabbath dinner in Leeds and got to see my friends and their one-week-old baby! 

I have several American friends who still live in England (though many are moving back this summer, yay!). Tom offered to make his world-famous cinnamon buns and have the whole group over. Sadly I was having too good of a time to take many pictures.

Well,this turned in to a novel. I think it's clear though that I have the best friends in the world. I can't wait until our next reunion!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Things I Love: Bai Bubbles

I'm not a big fan of carbonated water. And, I don't really drink a lot of cokes (sorry--soda for non-Texans). But, the other day my co-worker suggested I try this drink called Bai Bubbles. I reluctantly gave it a try, and it is AMAZING!

It tastes like Dr. Brown's Black Cherry--a drink that I absolutely love. Dr. Brown's immediately makes me think of Passover. It's kind of a weird connection, I guess. But growing up we didn't drink a lot of cokes. The one exception was during Passover when all health rules went out the window. I guess the thought was that if we can't eat bread, we might as well eat all the sugar! Ha!

Bai Bubbles only has five calories and no artificial sweeteners. It's sweet without being overly so. I actually got sad half-way through the drink because I knew it would be coming to an end. I don't see this as an every day drink for me, but I definitely plan on grabbing a can every now and then.

There are a ton of other flavors too, but this is the one that looked best to me. Have you tried this before? What do you think?

As always, this is not a sponsored post. It is just truly a product that I found and love. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Weeks 18-19!

Dates: February 17-23

Baby is the Size of a: bell pepper (approximate length and weight: 5.5 inches, 7 ounces)

How I'm Feeling: 

How I'm Changing: I'm definitely getting bigger, but I'm in that weird stage where my regular clothes don't fit and maternity clothes are still a little big. I have to try everything on each morning to make sure it still fits. It's been really annoying as I am trying to pack for my trip to Harrogate. I am planning on just bringing maternity clothes rather than risk a chance that I won't be able to zip my pants.

What I'm Eating: Now that the nausea has passed, I'm not craving carbs as much. I won't turn down a bagel, of course, but it isn't that immediate need like it was before. Now I'm back to my regular diet.

What the Baby is Doing: I am feeling the baby's movements higher, so it's clear to me that he's growing and moving up.

Dates: February 24- March 1

Baby is the Size of an: heirloom tomato (approximate length and weight: 6 inches, 8.5 ounces)

How I'm Feeling: Awesome! I have definitely hit my second trimester burst of energy. I LOVE this stage. I feel great and happy as I'm watching my bump grow. I was pretty concerned how I would hold up on my trip to Harrogate, since the agenda was non-stop action. I felt great though and didn't even feel any jet lag.

How I'm Changing: I'm definitely getting bigger and baby's kicks are getting stronger. I was in the bath this week and saw my stomach move for the first time. That was really exciting! I hope that in the next couple of weeks Dan will be able to feel the baby too.

What I'm Eating: Yorkshire tea, scones, crumpets, Welsh rarebit, and all the Cadbury and Nestle chocolate I can get my hands on. Can you tell I was in England this week?

What the Baby is Doing: It feels like the baby is line dancing in there. Lots of kicks and turns.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 18
Week 19