Family Friday: 14 Weeks

Warning: Family Friday posts are an open and honest update of our pregnancy.  There will be references to lady parts, internal organs, and bodily functions.  There will also be photos of baby bumps and ultrasounds.  If any of this bothers you, please stop reading now.

14 Weeks

 -  is about 3.5 inches long
 -  is developing an ultra-fine covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his/her body
 -  is producing urine and is peeing
 -  can form facial expressions like squinting and frowning
 -  is busy strengthening his/her muscles by kicking and moving (I still can't feel it yet)

WEIGHT:  +.5 pound.  I wonder if that has anything to do with the massive amount of Easter chocolate that I ate this week :)

BODY:  My waist is now at +2 inches, my lower belly is at +2 inches, and my hips are at +.5 inch.  The first three months of pregnancy are period of rapid development for the baby, while the second three months are a period of rapid growth.  The baby is now growing at a rate of a half inch every week!  My uterus is currently about the size of a large grapefruit and I'm starting to feel my ligaments stretching daily to accommodate it.

THE GOOD:  Nausea is disappearing!  It lasted from week 6 through week 13 which is plenty long enough!  As long as I eat the right foods, my stomach feels good all day.  But that's the kicker... it's only if I eat the right foods.

THE BAD:  I woke up with an awful headache on Tuesday that made me completely useless all day and never fully went away.  Pain has been disrupting my sleep and daily activities all week... even now as I'm typing this.  To top that off, I had mucus in the back of my throat on Tuesday that relocated to my nose on Wednesday and then blossomed into a stuffy head, runny nose, and body aches (but no fever) - I'm afraid I have caught a cold :(  I hope it doesn't last long!

FOOD:  I'm still in food limbo.  There are foods that look and smell good now but when I eat them, they make me sick in the stomach.  I desperately want to branch out and eat more of a variety but it's hard to know what will agree with my stomach and what won't.

EXERCISE:  I only made it to the gym for weights and cardio once this week before my crazy headache and ill feeling put me out of commission.

OTHER NOTES:  We're moving!  I wrote yesterday about how we've been living in a hotel for two months waiting for our house on the Air Force base to be ready.  On Tuesday morning, we'll get the keys and move in.  I am so excited to finally have a place to call home on this island!  After living in an apartment in Korea for a year, I'm also thrilled to have a back porch to relax on outside and to have a yard for Dulce.  This will be our first time living on a military base as a married couple.  This is a large base that offers a lot that I'm looking forward to such as the fitness center (that offers fitness classes!), the dog beach, a people beach, library, shopping and restaurants, gas stations and convenience stores, post office, churches, jogging trails, playgrounds, sports fields, a swimming pool, and best of all... safe living in a great neighborhood :)

"No commitment in the whole world demands
quite as much as bringing up children."
~Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard

Hotel Living

Before moving to Hawaii, we thoroughly researched our housing options.  We could live on one of the many military bases here or we could rent a house anywhere on the island.  After much consideration, we decided to live on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  It's a very large military base with a lot to offer and I will feel safe living there alone if Johnnie deploys.

We arrived in Hawaii on January 28th and moved into military lodging, which is basically a hotel.  Our room was of questionable quality so luckily after a two weeks we were able to move into nicer military lodging on Ford Island.  We got to Hawaii thinking it wouldn't take too long to get a house assigned to us but here we are, two months later, still living in lodging.

Two whole months of living in a hotel.  It wasn't bad at first but two months is a loooong time to go without a house of our own, without a real address, without our belongings, without a real kitchen, without my favorite pillow, and without any familiar comforts.  We are physically here in Hawaii but I don't feel emotionally here yet.  I know my way around now, but it still doesn't feel like home.

Thankfully, our hotel living days are almost over!  Our house is finally ready and we will be moving in on Tuesday!  Our belongings from Korea are here on the island and will be delivered next week.  Our belongings that we had stored in the States while we were in Korea were actually "lost forever" for a while but luckily have been found and are in transit.  Everything is finally falling into place.

The Navy Lodge on Ford Island consists of two buildings, one newer and one older.  Because of Dulce, our room is in the older building which is pet friendly.  This older building is also historic and I feel privileged to have stayed here.  "The historical landmark building was erected in 1941. It served as a bachelor officers’ quarters until 1984. The building was also used as an emergency medical center during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was featured in the film “Tora! Tora! Tora!” - source

The Navy Lodge is available for any military member to stay at whether for PCS, TDY, medical, or leisure.  Guests of military members may also stay at this lodge provided that the military member is present at check-in.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by online at  This lodge is within walking distance of the USS Battleship Missouri, the USS Utah Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.  The USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum are also nearby.  It's a quiet and historical place to stay away from the touristy downtown area.

The hotel suite that we have been living in consists of a living room and a bedroom connected by a hallway with a kitchenette.  There is a bathroom off of the bedroom.

The kitchenette has a mini-fridge, microwave, sink, two stovetop burners, a small coffee maker, and a toaster.  Some plates, bowls, cups, silverware, and pots are provided.  We really can't fit very much in the small fridge and the stovetop burners take a while to heat up so cooking food in this kitchen isn't easy.  Most of our meals come from restaurants or are cooked in the microwave.  Two months of this is torture, especially with my pregnancy-induced food aversions!  I can't wait to have a real kitchen again!

Eight pillows on these beds and I don't like any of them but I admit that I'm a very picky pillow person :)

Outside, there is a swimming pool for use by the lodge guests.  Towels are provided.  There is also a playground for children.

There is a large dog park next to the lodge which is free to be used by any military on Oahu.  It's a great area for dogs to run around in but Dulce really wishes that there was some agility equipment.

There are always clouds over the mountains in the distance and it's usually raining somewhere so we often see beautiful rainbows in the afternoon.

The dog park is mostly grass but Dulce always finds some dirt to roll in!  I'm pretty sure she has a dirt-rolling addiction :)

It looks like Korea isn't the only place with "not quite right" things!

"Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections."
~Author Unknown

Scenic Sunday

* Every Sunday our blog features a random scenic photograph from our travels *

Space Needle, Seattle, WA

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand,
but in what direction we are moving."
~Oliver W Holmes

To see other blogs featuring a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 13 Weeks

Warning: Family Friday posts are an open and honest update of our pregnancy.  There will be references to lady parts, internal organs, and bodily functions.  There will also be photos of baby bumps and ultrasounds.  If any of this bothers you, please stop reading now.

13 Weeks

 -  is about 3 inches long
 -  can open and close his/her mouth
 -  has bone replacing cartilage and has ribs appearing
 -  is developing vocal chords
 -  has fingerprints

WEIGHT:  0 pounds.  Last weekend my weight suddenly shot up 1 whole pound and has stayed the same every day since.  I am finally back up to my pre-pregnancy weight.  It will be all extra weight gain from here on out!

BODY:  My waist is still at +1 inch, my lower belly is still at +1.5 inches, but my hips are now at +.25 inches!  Apparently the pound I gained went straight to my hips :(  I know that widening hips are part of the child-bearing deal but it doesn't make me like it any better!

THE GOOD:  I'm just going to mention one thing this week: Sex.  Sex drive is a hit or miss thing with pregnant women.  Some experience increased desire while others could gladly go without for nine months.  My sex drive has been through the roof  for the past month!  I really hope it continues throughout the rest of the pregnancy because pregnant orgasms truly are an award-worthy experience ;)

THE BAD:  1) Nausea.  It's finally starting to go away, hitting only every now and then.  2) Fatigue.  This is the first week I've really experienced fatigue.  There have been a few afternoons that Dulce and I curled up and took a nap together.

FOOD:  This was a strange week for food and appetite.  There are more and more foods that are starting to sound good and smell good to me BUT when I eat those foods, they do not agree with me.  My stomach obviously didn't get the memo that my senses got.  Fruit, peanut butter, bread/bagels, and protein smoothies are still my go-to foods that always agree with me.

EXERCISE:  This week Dulce and I took a few long walks, we went jogging once, and I went to the gym 2x for weights and cardio.  I'm hoping that when the nausea does finally go away, that I'll feel like jogging more.  I really miss my longer runs!

OTHER NOTES:  We made it to the second trimester!  The chance of miscarriage is greatly reduced at this point.  All of the baby's major development is complete (isn't that amazing?!) and now he/she just has to grow for the next 6 months!  I had a prenatal check-up this week.  The doctor did a physical exam and we listened to the baby's heartbeat which was in the 160's.  Everything with the baby looks good.  We went over the test results from the six tubes of blood they took on my first visit.  Other than being RH Negative, all the blood work was perfect.  All of my levels of vitamins, iron, etc, were all exactly where they should be. 

"A baby fills a hole in your heart that you never knew was there."
~Author Unknown

Hanauma Bay Beach Park

Hanauma Bay was once a volcanic crater.  The ocean side was eroded away and the crater filled with water creating a circular bay.  This bay is the most popular destination for snorkeling on the island, especially for tourists.  The clear blue water is home to a colorful variety of fish and sea creatures that live in the coral reef.

Hanauma Bay is open every day, except for Tuesdays, from 6am to 6pm.  The parking is limited so if you want a parking spot, you should get there by 9am.  Parking is $1 per car.  Or if you don't feel like driving, you can even take "The Bus", Honolulu County's public bus system.  The #22 will take you from Waikiki to Hanauma Bay and drop you off right near the visitor center.  It runs once an hour on weekdays and twice an hour on weekends, but there is no bus on Tuesdays since the beach is closed [Route Map & Timetable].  Admission to the beach is free for Hawaii residents, active duty U.S. military with ID, and children 12 years and younger.  For everyone else (sorry tourists!) the price is $7.50 per person.

Before heading down to the beach, everyone must first watch a short orientation video.  This video tells how the bay was created, about the marine life and coral reef that you will see, and what you need to do to protect this nature preserve.  If you plan on returning to the bay within a year, you can sign an information sheet so that you won't have to watch the video each time you come to the bay.

The beach is large and you are welcome to set up your spot just about anywhere you want.  You can bring blankets, towels, umbrellas, bags, coolers, food, drinks, etc.  There is no place to purchase food and drinks down on the beach but there is a concession stand and a small souvenir shop near the entrance where you buy tickets.

There are a few bathhouses on the beach with water fountains, bathrooms, and showers.

There is a place to rent snorkels, masks, fins, and lockers between 7am and 4:30pm.

There is also an information booth where you can look at posters and books to learn about the reef and marine life that you see in the water.  This is where you can talk to employees about any questions or needs that you have.  This is a handicap-accessible beach and there are beach wheelchairs for use.

The snorkeling here is pretty good.  The water is clear and there are a ton of colorful fish and sea creatures.  The fish are very used to people so you can get up close and personal with them.  The coral reef itself is living coral but very brown, bland, and not very pretty.  The water is fairly calm until the tide comes in and the waves get more powerful.

I'm not a water person.  I'm not a strong swimmer, I sink rather than float, and I can't stand being in water where I can't see my feet.  Of course, I grew up in Pennsylvania where there are murky lakes and rivers hiding who knows what beneath the surface and the only ocean we went to was the Atlantic which is certainly not clear water.  Being here in Hawaii is completely different.  The water is warm-ish and clear which makes a big difference for me.  I just might become a water person after all!

I've been snorkeling before in the Bahamas and the Philippines so I wasn't afraid to try it out here.  The only difference was that I've always used a floatation device before and here I didn't.  I quickly found out that as long as I kept moving, I stayed afloat without any problems.  A waterproof digital camera would've been amazing to have but I haven't got around to buying one yet.

I came to the beach with a group of friends that had all of the necessary equipment for snorkeling.  They had fins, masks, and snorkels but they also had gloves (cheap rubber-coated garden gloves worked great!) and water shoes to protect against the sharp coral.  They also had some wetsuits and water shirts.  The water was a little chilly and the water shirts added just enough warmth for comfort.  Water shirts are also recommended for preventing sunburn while snorkeling.

There are a few lifeguard stations along the beach to keep all of the visitors safe.  If you are in the water and need help, simply wave your arm in the air.

There is a steep road for getting in and out of the bay.  It takes about 3 minutes to walk down.  If you can't or don't feel like walking, there is a shuttle that will give you a ride.  It costs 75¢ to ride down the hill and $1 to ride up.  Unfortunately they also charge you 25¢ a piece for your large bags.

"Don't wait for your ship to come in - swim out to it."
~Author Unknown

Scenic Sunday

* Every Sunday our blog features a random scenic photograph from our travels *

Launch Pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida

"Accept no one’s definition of your life.  Define yourself."
~Harvey Fierstein

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Family Friday: 12 Weeks

Warning: Family Friday posts are an open and honest update of our pregnancy.  There will be references to lady parts, internal organs, and bodily functions.  There will also be photos of baby bumps and ultrasounds.  If any of this bothers you, please stop reading now.

12 Weeks

 -  is about 2.5 inches long
 -  is developing fingernails and toenails
 -  is moving around (although I can't feel it yet)
 -  can suck his/her thumb and get hiccups
 -  has a fully formed brain structure

WEIGHT: -1 lb.  I gained a half pound since last week but I am still 1 lb under pre-pregnancy weight.

BODY:  Waist is the same at +1 inch.  Lower belly is now at +1.5 inches.  The rest of me is the same.

THE GOOD:  1) Sleep.  I'm still sleeping like a rock every night and have luckily have no fatigue during the day.  2) Moods.  My moods are still peaceful and happy.  I wonder if that has anything to do with living in Hawaii... ;)

THE BAD:  1) Nausea.  I had three whole blissful nausea-free days this week and then it came back full force.  It's the awful "I'm-going-to-throw-up" feeling but then nothing happens!  2) Headaches.  Luckily I only had one headache this week but it was a doozy.  I hate that there is nothing I can take that eases the pain.  3) Slower Urination.  I swear that I used to be the world's faster pee-er but lately I have to sit and relax because my bladder now empties very s-l-o-w-l-y.  This drives me nuts especially during my middle-of-the-night bathroom break when I want to get back to dreamland as quickly as possible.

FOOD:  This week I've added avocados to the "foods I love" list and added all cereal to the "foods I can't look at" list.  I could've lived on cereal alone a few weeks ago so I have no idea what changed!  Protein fruit smoothies are still my primary protein source since meat is still on the bad list.  My new favorite grab-and-go snack is Clif Kid Organic Zbars (Target sells them by the box).  I especially love the the Iced Oatmeal Cookie flavor and always have one in my purse.

EXERCISE:  Light exercise this week.  The days that I was nauseous, I was really nauseous and didn't even feel like going outside.  I did manage to do weights and cardio once at the gym, went jogging outside once, and took a few walks with Dulce in the evenings.

OTHER NOTES:  Maternity clothes already?  Not quite.  I haven't gained any weight yet but I am thicker in the middle.  Luckily, living in Hawaii, I rarely wear jeans which fit fine if I'm standing up but really dig into my stomach when I sit down.  All of my shorts and sundresses are very comfortable and should still fit for a few more months, if not the whole time.  The only thing that really that has to change now is my workout clothes.  What I have is all very fitted and not very stretchy so it makes me feel like a pillow stuffed into spandex.  This week I found a super soft and stretchy New Balance running skirt to wear jogging but I still have to find some stretchy low-rise bottoms and some stretchy tops.  Finding those things is proving to be more difficult than I hoped.

"Love is all fun and games until someone loses an eye or gets pregnant."
~Jim Cole

Banyan Tree

There is some pretty amazing and beautiful plant life here in Hawaii.  The subtropical climate and fertile volcanic soil provide ideal conditions for a huge variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees.  The colors, textures, and sweet smells are a playground for your senses.

One of my favorite trees here in Hawaii is the Banyan Tree.  They fascinate me and I never get tired of spotting these wherever I go.  As Banyan Trees grow, roots drop down from the underside of the branches.  When these roots reach the ground, they thicken and grow into the dirt.  It's sometimes impossible to see what and where the original trunk of the tree is.

I found a huge Banyan tree on Ford Island that has a rope swing and tire swing attached to its high branches.  There is a nearby housing community that was built in the 1930's, making me wonder how many kids have enjoyed climbing on and swinging from this tree.  Swinging is one of my simple pleasures in life, something I've never outgrown.  This giant tree reminds me of something out of a story and makes me feel like a kid again :)

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches,
letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."
~Pauline R. Kezer

Scenic Sunday

 * Every Sunday our blog features a random scenic photograph from our travels *

Appalachian Trail, northern Georgia

‎"Not in his goals, but in his transitions is man great."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 11 Weeks

 Warning: Family Friday posts are an open and honest update of our pregnancy.  There will be references to lady parts, internal organs, and bodily functions.  There will also be photos of baby bumps and ultrasounds.  If any of this bothers you, please stop reading now.

11 Weeks

Welcome to our first Family Friday post!  Yesterday we put our pregnancy announcement photo on our blog for the world to see.  We are so excited to be expecting our first baby on October 1st!

I'm the type of person who researches things thoroughly before diving in so believe me when I say I've been reading books and blogs for over a year now on the subjects of pregnancy and childbirth.  I love reading other women's accounts of how pregnancy went for them in order to better prepare myself.  I'm most drawn to information that is open and honest so that is exactly how I plan on tackling the updates here on our blog.  I hope that my pregnancy updates are just as entertaining and helpful to others as the ones I read were for me :)

8 weeks 1 day:

10 weeks 4 days:

 -  is about 1.5 inches long
 -  is developing tooth buds and taste buds
 -  is losing the webbing between his/her fingers and toes
 -  can swallow and stick out his/her tongue
 -  actually resembles a (very tiny) newborn baby now!

WEIGHT:  -1.5 lbs  That's right, I've lost weight!  I always assumed that when I got pregnant, I'd have to keep the diet in check to avoid gaining too much.  Surprisingly, my metabolism has shifted into turbo drive!  Before getting pregnant, I had a tendency to gain weight easily if I didn't watch my diet and exercise.  But now, I'm eating 500+ extra calories a day and not gaining anything!  I am not complaining about this in the least, however.  I know the weight gain will come eventually so for now I am enjoying the fact that I can eat a ton :)

BODY:  Despite losing weight, within the past couple weeks I have gained 1 inch on my waist, 1 inch on my lower belly, and my boobs have increased slightly in size but not enough to need new bras.

THE GOOD:  1) Sleeping.  With the exception of having to wake up once to pee every night, I sleep like a rock.  As long as I get at least 8 hours of sleep, I have no fatigue during the day.  2) Moods.  I always assumed that I would be a hormonal, moody bitch while pregnant but honestly I am more calm and even-tempered now than I was before getting pregnant.

THE BAD:   1) Nausea.  I usually feel great in the morning but nausea sets in early afternoon and gets progressively worse until I go to bed.  I'm not throwing up at all, I just have that yucky sick-in-the-stomach feeling.  2) Headaches.  I've had frequent headaches most of my life and Advil almost always fixes them.  However, now that I'm pregnant I can only take Tylenol.  Unfortunately, Tylenol doesn't work for my headaches - never has and isn't now.  3) Sore boobs.  This is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy.  They were really sore around 6 weeks but have gotten more bearable in the past few weeks.  4) Gas.  I've read about "pregnancy gas" due to slowed digestion but wow!  My farts (which are mostly in the evening) are seriously stinky.  I can't stand the smell myself so I feel especially sorry for Johnnie and Dulce.  I really hope this doesn't last the whole pregnancy!

FOOD:  There are a few foods (eggs, most meats, almost all vegetables, and garlic) that really turn my stomach.  There are a lot of other foods that just don't look or smell appetizing at all.  My diet is fairly limited to the few things that are still appealing.  My favorite food right now is baked potatoes covered with butter and cheese!  I also love protein fruit smoothies, most fruits, Amy's organic burritos, veggie burgers, peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches, and Subway's subs on flatbread with mayo (something I would never order before).

EXERCISE:  I'm a runner but running does not feel good when I'm nauseous.  So instead, I've been hitting the cardio machines at the gym and using the weight lifting machines 3x a week.  It feels great to work out and I get to eat even more food on those days :)

OTHER NOTES:  We had our first prenatal appointment at 6w4d.  I had to pee in a cup and have blood drawn for tests.  We also had an ultrasound done!  There isn't much detail to see that early but we did see the heart beating!  It was so amazing to see that there really is a little life growing in my belly!  I got a phone call the next day telling me that I had to come back into the clinic because my blood type is O Negative.  I always thought that was a good thing because that means I'm a "universal blood donor", but apparently it's a bad thing since I'm pregnant and Johnnie has positive blood.  Our baby will most likely have positive blood and that would be incompatible with mine.  If my blood and the baby's blood mixes at any point, my body will start to produce antibodies that will attack the growing baby.  Luckily, mixing of blood usually never happens until birth so therefore the first pregnancy is usually without complications.  Later pregnancies however, would have big problems if my body had antibodies.  Thankfully medical advances can prevent this!  I will be getting a Rhogam shot 3 times throughout the pregnancy which will prevent my body from creating antibodies.  Everything with this baby should be just fine but this technically puts me at a "higher risk" than most.  To read more about the RH factor and compatibility, click here.

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller,
home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."
~Author Unknown

Related Posts:

Big Announcement!

Johnnie and I met in 2007, got married in 2008, and 
spent the last three years traveling the world together.  
It is finally time to take on a different kind of adventure...

That's right, Baby Green is busy making me nauseous growing and will debut in October!  Our year in Korea was such a blast that we waited until we were Hawaii-bound to try for Baby G.  We will be in Hawaii for three years and this warm, relaxing island is the perfect place to start our family.

This will be our first child, the first grandchild for Johnnie's parents, the 6th grandchild for my parents, and the 13th great-grandchild for my grandmother.  This baby is already loved by so many people!

I have no intentions of turning our "travel blog" into a baby blog.  However I do want to keep our family and friends (and any other interested people) updated with Baby G's progress.  Therefore, I will limit pregnancy updates to one day a week and that day will be Friday.  Starting tomorrow, "Family Friday" will feature photos and an open and honest weekly update of our pregnancy.

Johnnie has been amazing throughout the pregnancy so far.  He was even willing to participate in my idea for the photo pregnancy announcement!  I've been a Pinterest fan for a few months now and have seen some great ideas for pregnancy announcements there.  I was inspired by the two photos below and combined both of those ideas to come up with the idea for our announcement.


The couples in the photos above may have actually used a photo booth to create their cute announcements.  We decided to create our photo booth picture strip digitally.  The only thing we had to buy was the picture frame and a piece of black craft paper.  We sat facing a large window for natural light and draped a white sheet over some chairs sitting on top of a desk for our backdrop.  I have a remote control for my camera so we snapped away!  We took about 50 photos and had a great time doing it :)

We went through all of the photos and picked out 4 to use in our announcement.  I then used Photoshop to switch the black paper in the frame to a picture of a chalkboard and added white text.  I created a simple photo strip template 6" long and 1.5" wide and added our chosen pictures.  Easy!

Since our family is all far away, we printed out 8x10 photos and showed them one by one to our parents over Skype to announce the news.  We emailed our photo strip to the rest of our family to let them know and then posted the picture on Facebook a few days after that.

I printed out the photo strips and added adhesive magnetic sheeting on the back to create a "save the date" magnet for our parents and siblings.  I handmade the cards that I mailed them in simply using scrapbooking paper, ribbon, baby embellishments, double-sided tape, and scissors.  I found a stamp for the back that says "handcrafted with aloha".  I have a feeling that I will be doing many crafty projects throughout this pregnancy :)

“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are 
waiting for something to happen or to hatch” 
~E.B. White, Charlotte's Web