We’ve made it to the one month mark! I think with all the holiday celebrations, it made time go by even faster.
The past month has been nothing short of amazing. Gio’s been such a great baby, and even when I moan about getting up in the middle of the night, I take one look at that face and can’t help but smile.
He is eating like a champ (takes after his father) and now weighs 10 lb. 12 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. His hair is lighter than what I thought it would be, and I’m curious what the coloring will be as he gets older. So far here’s what we’ve learned about our little guy.
He sleeps with his mouth open (like me)
He purses his lips when he poops (and also will turn red)
He has started grabbing onto things (especially shiny things like my necklace)
He has started to track with his eyes (if Kendrick puts him down and walks away, he’ll follow him)
He doesn’t like baths
He likes being carried in the Ergobaby
He loves his Rock-n-Play (and has slept mostly in this)
He smiles right after he’s had his milk (aka when he’s in a milk coma!)
His lips and nose resemble mine and Kendrick’s
His eyes are like Kendrick’s
He loves the camera! 😉
Here’s some pictures from his newborn shoot when he was nine days old. Thank you to the talented Jessie Salas Photography. I absolutely loved doing an in-home shoot!
model status…he was totally posing for the camera!
These next few are my absolute favorite!! It makes my heart melt seeing my handsome husband hold our beautiful boy ❤
Sneak peek of the little man’s room…we spend lots of time changing diapers in here 😉
So, I must preface this post by saying I had started writing a 2 week update last week, but never got around to finishing it; SO…this will now be a 3 week update. The beginning is what I meant to post last week, and even though Christmas is over, I want to share my reflections on my first Christmas as a mother 🙂
It’s been 2 (now 3) weeks since Giovanni came into the World and as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, it’s been so special to have him here with us. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and you may remember me saying that before we got pregnant, I was secretly hoping his birthday would fall around this time of year. My own birthday is just three days after Christmas, and it’s been beautiful to reflect on my own mother carrying me almost 27 years ago, and also Mary carrying the baby Jesus.
After giving birth, I am amazed at what Mary had to go through over 2,000 years ago. Even with modern medicine, giving birth is dangerous, and it is a complete miracle to give birth to a healthy baby and also have a healthy mommy. I can’t imagine not having the team of nurses and midwives by my side, and having to labor and give birth in a cold, damp, smelly and unsanitary stable like Mary. Not to mention what her recovery process was like; giving birth is messy! Remember…she was only 12 or 13 years old!! What a scary thing to go through at such a young age. It makes me appreciate the cost of my salvation so much more.
A beautiful song that reflects the humble birth of Christ is Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to our World”. I look at my own son, and can’t believe that our Savior came into the world in the same way…a helpless little baby. He had tiny fingers and toes, and was dependent on his mother, just like Giovanni is dependent on me.
Kendrick and I have learned a lot these past 3 weeks, and have settled into a schedule (somewhat), and have gotten a lot more comfortable changing diapers (Kendrick has done most of the brunt work in this department). For some reason Gio has the messiest diapers in the early morning hours when Kendrick changes him. (He’s already gotten peed on numerous times.)
Our love for him grows each day, as we find ourselves laughing at his funny faces or admiring his beautiful features. As he slept in our bed yesterday, I found myself telling my sister, “I just can’t believe he’s my child.”
Up until you have children your whole life is centered around yourself. Then, you have a child and this new human becomes the center of your world…it still amazes me that my body was able to grow and give birth to such a perfect being. Kendrick has been saying it is a true miracle when a baby comes out healthy. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby, and the fact that Gio came into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, a heart that beats and eyes that can see is a complete miracle.
Here’s a little update on what’s been happening these past few weeks:
My milk coming in. This happened 2 days after coming home and let me tell you…no one warned me how painful it would be!! I took a nap that afternoon, and when I woke up, my boobs had turned to two rocks on my chest!! I’ve had small boobs my entire life, so this new change has been very uncomfortable for me. I qualified for a free breast pump through my insurance, and thank the LORD it arrived the very same day! I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I am very thankful that I’ve been able to breastfeed successfully, and know there are many other mothers who struggle with this. In those late night hours, when I struggle with whether to sleep or pump, I’m reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to feed this boy on my own.
Night sweats. They started the night after I gave birth, but I didn’t realize it was normal. When we got home, Kendrick was concerned I was running a fever, but after a friend came over to visit, she told me these were normal and it’s your body trying to get rid of the excess water you stored up during pregnancy. Whew! I was glad to hear that.
5 Baby Must-Haves:
Fisher Price Rock-n-Play. This thing has been a life saver! We ended up registering for this instead of a bulky swing, and I’m so glad we did!! Gio has actually been sleeping in this instead of his bassinet. It’s small, cozy, and foldable which makes it easy to move and transport. It also plays music, rocks, and vibrates. The rocking and vibrating is really soothing for him especially if he’s a little fussy. I HIGHLY recommend this to any mom.
Kiinde Twist Bags. When my milk came in and I had to start pumping, I was SO glad that I had bought a box of these. I love the twist top for easy pouring, and the measurements on the bag.
Dr. Brown’s Preemie Nipples. My sister-in-law recommended I buy the smallest size nipple so that when I started bottle feeding, Gio wouldn’t get lazy and stop taking the breast. Since my milk came in quickly and I had to start feeding some milk from the bottle, I’m glad I had these on hand.
Pampers diaperswith the color changing line! I didn’t know the diapers had this until I read a blog post late in my pregnancy and the blogger mentioned that Pampers (and also Huggies) have a yellow line down the middle that changes to blue when the baby wets himself. What a genius invention! Although The Honest Co. diapers are cute, I’d rather have practical!
Nursing tank.This is technically for momma but I count it as something for baby too because it helps you nurse so much easier! I’ve lived in these Pea in the Pod tank tops for the past 3 weeks..I even wear them to bed! I have a couple nursing bras, but these are much more practical because you don’t have to worry about wearing another shirt. These are another item my sister-in-law recommended and I stocked up and bought four before Gio was born.
Mommas out there- what are your must-haves?? Feel free to comment and link your favorites down below!
To my readers– thank you for your loyalty this year and for sharing my posts with your family and friends. My hope for the new year is to get back to posting regularly…and also to share my postpartum fitness journey!
WOW! I don’t even know where to begin. This second trimester has been packed with so many fun and exciting memories. I have truly loved every minute of pregnancy and have no complaints (…so far 😉 ). Each week brings new joys and new developments for baby, and I’m cherishing the days one by one. I’ve never been an overly emotional, or overly anxious person and pregnancy hasn’t changed that. I feel calm and at peace that everything is moving along just as it should…because why worry about things I can’t control?? My mom has been a great example for me as a woman of faith…and I grew up with this verse as a constant reminder in our home:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” -Matthew 6:25-27
Worrying never accomplishes anything; and so I’ve continued to hold tight to this verse during pregnancy.
When we left off after the first trimester, Kendrick and I had just moved into our new apartment. We started the second trimester with a trip to Lake Tahoe to celebrate Kendrick’s 33rd birthday. We did not know the gender at this point but I wrote in my journal about a dream I had that I thought it was a boy. Little did I know that in a few short weeks we would know for sure!!
Baby is the size of a lemon
His neck is getting longer and he is no longer slouched
He is sprouting hair and his eyebrows are filling in
The roof of his mouth is developing
His digestive system has started working, and his intestines are now producing meconium (waste)
Baby is the size of an orange
Baby’s ears are positioned on the sides of his head and his eyes are moving from side of the head to front of the face…(he is no longer an alien!)
I’m definitely eating for two…
Baby is the size of an avoado
His facial muscles are developing and he can now frown and squint
His eyes are working and can perceive light (although his lids are still sealed)
Baby can hear my voice!
We find out baby is a BOY!
He is the size of a turnip
Baby’s heartbeat is beating twice as fast as mine
His fingerprints are forming
We travel to South Carolina to visit my in-laws and meet our nephew!
Still enjoying vacation in South Carolina, my sister-in-law takes gender reveal photos for us
Baby can yawn and hiccup
His nervous system is maturing
He is the size of a mango
I’m starting to browse nursery furniture
The vernix develops protecting his skin from the amniotic fluid
We are half-way there!
He is the size of a small cantaloupe
I feel baby kick for the first time! (while watching The Bachelorette…hehe)
He weighs as much as a coconut
His eyes can finally open
Baby is the size of a banana! (his dad’s favorite fruit)
He is sleeping 14 hours a day and can taste the foods I eat
Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles – explains why I have started to feel him kicking!
Baby is the size of a spaghetti squash
My momma comes into town!
He now weighs 1 pound
His grip, vision, and hearing are getting stronger
We make a trip up to wine country to celebrate my mom’s 50th birthday!
He is the size of a papaya
Capillaries and lung cells begin their maturation process so baby can breathe
Keratin is being added to his skin cells
Skin has a red hue- due to developing veins and arteries
My dad comes into town!
Kendrick has a dream of being at Disneyworld with our little boy…in his dream his hair is black and his eyes are dark and Kendrick said he looked like me and had my smile 🙂
We are back in Tahoe for summer vacation!
Baby is the size of an ear of corn
His face is almost fully formed
Baby’s brain cells have matured enough to develop conscious thought and most likely memory
I go stand-up paddle boarding on the lake
Baby is the size of a rutabaga (an ugly looking turnip)
He is SUPER active
Kendrick and I go to Babies R Us to browse some strollers and gliders for the nursery
Baby is about 13 inches long- longer than a ruler!
Baby is packing on the fat
His nostrils are opening- he’s not taking in air yet, just “breathing” amniotic fluid
He is the size of an eggplant
We (or should I say Kendrick) sets up his crib!
He weighs 2 pounds
He can open his eyes!
His eyelashes are growing in
Teeny tiny fingernails have arrived
He is the size of a cucumber
We’ve made it to the end of the second trimester…and I’m in total nesting mode! No resting for this momma; I’ve been cleaning out baby’s closet, organizing his things and hanging those precious clothes
Sept. 9th-Kendrick hears his heartbeat through my tummy!
Baby grows an entire inch this week alone
I feel so incredibly blessed to be entering this third and final stage. It’s been an amazing process and as I’ve been writing and looking back on his development, it is a total miracle for sure!
In just 3 short months our little man will be here…I’m thinking this Christmas will be my favorite yet ❤
“You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” -Psalm 139:13
Kendrick and I are overjoyed to announce that we are expecting a…
I have officially hit 20 weeks- halfway through my pregnancy. Yesterday we had an ultrasound appointment with my doctor and this was when we were supposed to find out the baby’s gender. SECRETLY we have known for over 2 weeks now… You may be thinking “What??!”
Well…I’m going to tell you the story : )
Kendrick and I flew to South Carolina to visit his family during the week of July 4th. Our nephew was born January 7th of this year, and we had not gotten to meet him yet. We had no plans of finding out the gender at this time, nor did we even know there were such places where we could find out. The first night at dinner, his sister told us about 3D ultrasound clinics that also offered gender reveal packages. As soon as Kendrick heard this he exclaimed, “We have to go!” We looked up where the nearest clinic was located, and how much the package cost. We were surprised to find there was a clinic only 20 minutes away from his parents house. The website said that if for some reason the technicians couldn’t figure out the gender, you were welcome to come back another day at no extra cost.
Kendrick was sold – but I was hesitant. I am very much a planner, and this was NOT in my plan. I had a very strong instinct of what I thought the gender would be, and although we both wanted to find out, I somehow felt like I was cheating the universe. Kendrick was understanding and told me to sleep on it, and that if I wasn’t comfortable, we didn’t have to do it. When I woke up in the morning, I revisited the website and thought, “What the heck! I’m gonna do it.” So I called and made an appointment for later on that day.
I had talked to Kendrick the night before about what the benefits would be if we found out. The biggest benefit was being able to tell our family in person, which was a HUGE plus. Living in California, most of our news is given over the phone or on FaceTime…which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s definitely more exciting to be able to celebrate good news in person…I think everyone would agree! Another benefit was that I had been planning to have my sister-in-law take maternity/gender reveal photos for us…initially, we were going to take both blue and pink photos (since we didn’t know what we were having) and use either one or the other after we found out. Well…you can imagine how overjoyed Kendrick was when he realized that we would only have to take ONE set of photos instead of two…ha ha.
Fast forward a few hours later…and we were on our way to find out whether our baby would be a little girl or a little boy! I had butterflies in my stomach and kept wondering “What if my instinct is wrong??” The suspense was killing me! The clinic was located in Fort Mill, a cute little town south of Charlotte. As soon as we walked into the clinic, we were greeted by two very friendly women who would be performing the ultrasound for us. The room was bright and inviting, and as I lay back on the table I knew that in a few minutes we would find out the best news of our lives!
After what seemed like forever, the technician finally got to the baby’s legs and told us she was going to look for the fateful sign…however, the baby’s legs were crossed and she couldn’t get a good image. I started getting nervous and wondered if we would have to come back another day to find out. She told us to be patient, and that she was just waiting for them to move. And as soon as they did…she pointed her fingers up to the screen and said “Do you know what that is??” I was just looking at her fingers which were shaped like a “V” instead of looking at the screen. In my head I was thinking, “Oh my gosh …it’s a girl.” (I was surprised by this because up until now I swore I was having a boy). Quickly I heard Kendrick exclaim “It’s a PENIS!” And then I laughed because there it was…plain as day. We were having a boy…which is what I thought all along!!
A funny side note, right as the technician revealed we were having a boy, Kendrick looked down at his phone and saw that his dad had texted him with a prediction, “It is a boy” he said. And he was right!
We had such a wonderful experience at 3D Dreams in Fort Mill. Included in our package was 20 black and white photos and as a bonus they even gave us a DVD of the whole session! It was so special to be able to listen to baby’s heartbeat and watch him on screen with our family at home. I highly recommend visiting a 3D ultrasound center for anyone who would like to know their baby’s gender. When we had our scheduled appointment yesterday, we were actually pretty disappointed because it was a very formal experience. We just had a radiology specialist perform the ultrasound instead of our regular OB, and she was very technical since her main job was to do an anatomy scan (look for any irregularities or concerns). We left the appointment reflecting on the wonderful experience we had at 3D Dreams and we’re SO happy we decided to do it.
All these beautiful photos were taken by my incredibly talented sister-in-law Lauren. She also took maternity photos for Kendrick’s sister and everyone in the family keeps urging her to start her own business!
We took these photos on July 8, which is my sister and brother-in-law’s anniversary. Those who know our story know that we met during the weekend of their wedding 4 years ago…( I was MOH and he was Best Man). Pretty crazy that just 4 short years later we’re pregnant…and my best friend turned sister is taking maternity photos for us!
Here’s a couple photos from our gender reveal ultrasound (just shy of 18 weeks). As of yesterday (20 weeks), he weighs 12 ounces and is expected to arrive December 7!
Sucking his thumb, a habit he inherited from dad 😉
Here are a few hopes I have for you…
I hope you grow up to respect women like your Daddy – you have A LOT to learn from him. 😉 He is such a good man. Always have courage to do the right thing and be kind. Love is your greatest power and gift to the world. Everything stems from love…because God is love and God is creating you right now, week by week.
Keep growing strong.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Always follow your heart, the heart that is beating inside me and can hear my heartbeat. You’re the only one who knows my heartbeat from the inside.
Today is my 3 year anniversary since moving to California. It still is pretty crazy to think that at 23, I picked up and left everything and everyone I knew – for a relationship that was so new and vulnerable. People always ask me if it was hard to leave Pennsylvania…and I say yes of course, because my family and friends were there- but to be honest, the fact that I was moving to California, and not Wisconsin for instance.. made the move so much more appealing. I mean, I grew up watching “Laguna Beach“…and dreamed what it would be like to work at a surf shop and take weekend trips to Cabo with my best friends.
The first time I traveled back home, after living here for 6 months, I realized how different it is…living on the west coast vs. the east coast. Yes, there are some main differences…the biggest being cost of living..but what fascinated me most was the difference in myself. This is what I’ve learned…
1) Be the change you want to see in the world.
Living in the Bay Area isn’t for the “homebody”. It’s fast-paced. People are constantly innovating. Creating. Connecting. Inspiring. Leading. You never know who you will meet living here. That guy standing in front of you at Starbucks could be a billionaire. The woman whose children you babysit could be married to the CEO of some dotcom. You may just see Mark Zuckerberg out running on your favorite trail… you get my drift. The coolest part is, I feel like that energy rubs off on you…how could it not?? When you are surrounded by people who are shaping our world, it makes you think twice about what your role is and what you’re doing to contribute.
2) Being busy doesn’t equate to being happy.
I hear time and time again, “I’d love to do “xyz”, but I’m just so busy.” One of the frustrations I had when I first moved here, was finding people who were willing to invest time in becoming my friend. It seemed that no one had any time…and if they did, you had to schedule it months in advance. I used to think that they must be living happy, full lives but the longer I’ve lived here, I’ve realized how many people are stressed, overworked, overwhelmed, and unhappy…and the biggest culprit is their schedules. This leads me to my next lesson…
3) You have the Power to Choose.
My husband read a great book titled “Your Greatest Power” by J. Martin Kohe and shared some insight with me. As adults, we have to take responsibility for the choices and decisions we make. We live in a society where we have the freedom to choose, but most people don’t take time to think about how their choices will impact them or their family. We find ourselves saying “yes” to everything…thus loading our schedules with commitments that we don’t even want to be at.
4) Invest in Personal Growth.
After reading “Positive Intelligence” by Shirzad Chamine, I had a moment of enlightenment. I learned that there are “Saboteurs” as he calls them in your brain. They are your automatic and habitual mind patterns, each with their own voice, beliefs, and assumptions that work against your best interest. My personal Saboteur? The Pleaser.
“The Pleaser compels you to try to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing, or flattering others constantly. It causes you to lose sight of your own needs and become resentful of others as a result. It also encourages others to become overly dependent on you. Its lie is that you are pleasing others because it is a good thing to do, denying that you are really trying to win affection and acceptance indirectly.” -Shirzad Chamine
OUCH. That definitely wasn’t easy to read. But you know what? It helped me to grow. It helped me to understand the feelings I have when someone has taken advantage of me, and how my actions may have played a role.
On the east coast, it takes a little longer for new movements to take root. (Kendrick’s dad still gives us grief about buying organic eggs.) Although I recycled (for the most part), and I never littered or caused any intentional damage/harm to the environment…I never really cared to become informed on things like “agricultural pollution” and “sustainable farming”. It wasn’t until Kendrick and I watched “Food Inc.” and “Cowspiracy” that I started to realize how ignorant I had been. Let’s be honest…those documentaries aren’t intended to make you feel good; they’re not supposed to be a light-hearted film that you turn off and go back to normal life. They’re supposed to drive you to act…to re-evaluate the choices you make so that your kids, and grand-kids can live in a world that’s better than the one we live in. (Ps- if you haven’t seen these films, I HIGHLY recommend them…and while you’re at it, watch “Living On One Dollar” and “That Sugar Film“.)
6) Less is More.
I’ve noticed Californians live in mostly smaller homes (due to super high prices) which forces them to be very efficient at maintaining only the important stuff. We’ve been brought up to be consumers; “to spend money we don’t have, to buy things we don’t need, to please people we don’t care about.” I never realized how much stuff I possessed, until I was forced to live in a smaller home. You start to realize…living in a bigger home, means more space for more stuff. (If you really want an eye opener, read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“.)
The beauty of living in California is living outdoors…where it’s sunny almost every day of the year. Going back to #1, California is definitely a place for those with an active lifestyle. Kendrick and I love hiking, biking, and being outside. We’ve had many talks about what is important to us; and living in an area where we can be outside (without freezing) is at the top of our list. Living in a smaller space makes me more aware of what I bring into my home, and what I decide to keep. There are less places to hide things, thus you’re forced to evaluate your stuff.
There you have it…my 6 “lessons” since moving to California. I wake up every day and feel so blessed to call this place my home. Kendrick and I live less than 2 miles from our fitness studio, and are surrounded by so many amazing people who love on us and make us feel like family.