Scenic Sunday

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

The Fremont Troll, Seattle, Washington

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time."
~Betty Smith

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 18 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.

18 Weeks

 -  The baby is about 5.5 inches long from head to rump
 -  is yawning, hiccuping, sucking, and swallowing
 -  is rolling, twisting, kicking, and punching
 -  his/her ears, which start out on the neck, are now in their final position on the head
 -  has blood vessels visible through his/her thin skin

The photo in the middle is from an interactive feature about how a woman's body makes room for a baby
from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry website.  I look fairly close to the illustration for how far along I am so I thought it would be fun to do an overlay with Photoshop :)

WEIGHT:  +5 pounds total.  That's another whole pound gain from last week.  I'm pregnant, not fat.  I'm pregnant, not fat.  I'm pregnant, not fat.  I'm pregnant, not fat.  I'm pregnant, ... :)

BODY:  Change all around my body this week!  My waist is now at +2.5 inches.  My lower belly is now at +2.5 inches.  My hips are now at +1 inch.  I still hate that my hips are getting bigger!

THE GOOD:  1) First movement!  I really haven't felt any movement yet but a couple days ago while participating in an aerobics class I felt a definite-no-doubt-about-it somersault from Baby G!  Maybe he/she liked the lively music or just needed to change position but it was a pretty incredible feeling that made me stop for a minute in awe.  Hopefully that means I'll be feeling more movement more often now.  2)  Energy.  I feel great!  I'm waking up earlier and have little or no fatigue during the day.  3) Sex drive.  I first mentioned my increased sex drive in the 13 Weeks post.  It actually calmed down a little in the past few weeks but this week it is raging in full force!  Thank goodness Johnnie gets home from his trip in a few days ;)

THE BAD:  1) Headaches... as usual.  But only one bad one this week.   2) Constipation... again.  I already increased my fiber intake from the last time this hit.  My body must have gotten used to it so I had to start adding more fiber to my diet.  3) Round Ligament Pain.  This is normal but uncomfortable abdominal pain that is the result of ligaments stretching in order to support and hold the growing uterus.  The sharp split-second pains get me most when I go from sitting to standing and when I roll over at night in bed.

FOOD:  Eggs have made a comeback!  I couldn't even think about eggs in the first trimester without getting sick, but now I'm going through over a dozen a week.  Cheese is amazing right now and I'm putting it on everything!

EXERCISE:  Another good week for exercise.  I tried a Step class at the gym that was steady, low-intensity and a lot of fun!  Part of the class was standing aerobics which is when Baby G rolled over.  I am building up my jogging milage again slowly.  When I first got pregnant, 5 miles was my "easy" run.  I am now up to 1.5 miles.  I have my heart set on running a 5K race (3.1 miles) within the next few months... we'll see how things progress.

OTHER NOTES: We find out if Baby G is a boy or a girl on May 18th. We'll be having a small family gender reveal party that weekend (thanks to Skype) and post it on the blog after that. I do have a preference as to what I hope Baby G will be but I honestly do not have any gut feelings at all as to whether it's a boy or girl! I did do the needle gender test on myself years ago and some family and friends know the results of that ;) I have a high success rate with that test on others so I'm curious to see if it's right for me!

I added a poll at the top right corner of this website so that you can enter your guess as to what Baby G will be!  There are many old wives tales out there about guessing baby gender.  Here are some tidbits about me (based on some of those wives tales) in case you need help guessing:
 - You can all see in my photos and from my weight and body notes how I am carrying
 - the baby's heart rate is currently in the 150's
 - my hair (on head and legs) and my nails are growing rapidly
 - my skin is dry (despite living in a tropical climate!) and breakouts are minimal
 - my energy is great and I have very little fatigue
 - I'm craving sweet and spicy things rather than salty or sour foods
 - I had horrible nausea from weeks 6 to 13
 - I conceived in January at the age of 34

Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman
giving birth to a child.  She must be found and stopped."
~Sam Levenson

Ala Moana Farmer's Market

There are a lot of farmer's markets on the island where you can buy locally-grown produce and freshly made items of all kinds.  I've gone with a friend to two markets so far and can't wait to check out all of the other ones!

The last one we went to was the Ala Moana Farmer's Market.  This market is every Saturday from 8am to 12noon.  It is held in the upper parking deck by Sears in the Ala Moana Shopping Center.  It's not a huge market but it did have a large variety of produce and food.

The Baker Dude's have some amazing homemade breads made with organic and natural ingredients.

There was a duo providing lively music for the crowd while they shopped or enjoyed some fresh food.

"Like try?"  :)

There was a stand selling fresh crepes made in front of your eyes.  They looked and smelled delicious!

Gerbera Daisies = happiness :)  They are my favorite flower!

I bought a few things at the market.  Chayote Squash (which I ate every day while studying in Guatemala a few summers ago), fresh homemade Honey Taro bread from the Baker Dude's, homemade Lilikoi Mango Jam (Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for Passionfruit) from Homemade Jams of Hawaii, and sweet pineapple!

I also got Dulce a present from the market.  The Hawaii Doggy Style company had a booth at the market and was selling their fresh, locally-made dog treats.  I bought Dulce some "Puppy Crack" which is dehydrated beef liver jerky with no other added ingredients.  It breaks apart easily and Dulce will eagerly do any and all of her tricks to get some :)

"Happiness is like jam. You can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself."

Happiness is a Doggie Door

I feel bad that I haven't been blogging as often as I used to.  It's not because I'm slacking off, it's just that we've been busy!  Johnnie is gone on a work trip so Dulce and I have been busy organizing and setting up our new house.

We'll be here for three years but this is still just a rental.  I will be hanging up photos and art on the walls and maybe even painting, but I don't want to put up any permanent things that would later damage surfaces or that we couldn't take with us when we move.

I've been scouting all the stores in the area looking for things to make the house organized and comfortable.  I bought things like over-the-door hooks and towel bars, hanging shelves for the closets, and containers for organization.  I'm not sure if it's just having a new house or possibly pregnancy-induced OCD, but I feel like everything needs to be organized and in it's place.  I've seen some great ideas on Pinterest that I've been trying to emulate.

One of the best things (especially in Dulce's opinion) that I got for the house is a doggie door!  We have a sliding door that leads to the back porch and yard.  There are doggie doors that fit in the door tracks and are held in place by tension springs.  I installed the door panel on the screen door track so that we can still close and lock the glass door.  It's been over a year since Dulce used a doggie door but it didn't take her long to remember... although she did slam her face against the screen door a few times at first :)

All we need now is a fence around our yard and Dulce will have her freedom back!

"In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself."

Scenic Sunday

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

Hiking the Volcan De Pacaya (Pacaya Volcano) in Guatemala

"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
~Ayn Rand

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 17 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.

17 Weeks

 -  is about 5 inches long
 -  is growing a stronger and thicker umbilical cord
 -  is gaining muscle and fat
 -  is starting to develop sweat glands
 -  has hair filling in his/her head, eyebrows, and eyelashes

WEIGHT:  almost +4 lbs total.  I'm starting to get used to this 1 pound a week gain, but I still have to remind myself "I'm pregnant, it's okay to gain weight" every day :)

BODY:  Despite gaining weight, my body didn't change at all this week.  My waist is still at +2 inches, my lower belly is still at +2 inches, and my hips are still at +.75 inch.

THE GOOD:  I feel almost completely normal!  I have tons of energy and all nausea and food aversions are gone.  I honestly hated being pregnant in the first trimester because I felt so awful all the time.  Thank goodness it was only temporary!  I think I can handle this for another 23 weeks :)

THE BAD:  The only bad this week was headaches that come and go often.  Now that I'm out of the first trimester, I'm going to try some massage therapy and a chiropractor soon.

FOOD:  My old eat-almost-anything self is back :)  I'm still craving pancakes.  I found a pumpkin pancake mix by Archer Farms sold at Target that is SO good.  I also had an angel email me a pancake recipe made from scratch that uses applesauce, oatmeal, and whole wheat flour - it is healthy and delish!

     Multi-Grain Pancakes
     1 cup pure apple juice
     1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
     2 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg substitute
     2 cups of multigrain or whole wheat flour
     1/4 cup oats
     1 tsp baking powder
     1 tsp baking soda
     1/2 tsp cinnamon
     1/4 tsp salt
     Honey or other sweetener to taste if desired

     Combine wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients. Add more juice if the batter is too dry.

Whatever pancakes I make, I always cook up a full batch and freeze the leftovers. You can pop them in the toaster later to make them hot and crispy again!

EXERCISE:  I finally have my energy back so this was a great week for exercise!  The first thing I did was go jogging.  It felt great and I wasn't even sore the next day.  It made me realize that I've retained more of my fitness level than I thought despite taking it easy for so long.  The base fitness center is only a half mile from our house so I started attending some of the classes offered this week.  One class I went to was Cardio Kickboxing.  I loved this class and it was a great workout.  Another class I attended was Zumba.  I actually didn't like this class at all.  I've been to many Zumba classes elsewhere that I did like because they were dance/aerobic classes that were easy to follow.  This class however was complicated National-Geographic-type tribal dancing... that's not for me.  I'm looking forward to trying some of the other classes offered soon.

OTHER NOTES:  I had a doctor's appointment this week!  Everything is still going well.  The baby's heart rate was in the 150's.  Our next appointment is in 4 weeks and is the big ultrasound!  Luckily, Johnnie will be home for that.  Apparently it is an in-depth ultrasound to check the baby's growth and make sure it's developing normally.  Gender is not something they specifically look for, but if it's easily seen then they will let you know.  We definitely want to find out if Baby G is a boy or girl!

"Feeling fat lasts nine months but the joy of becoming a mom lasts forever."

Family Friday: 16 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.

16 Weeks

 -  is about 4.5 inches long
 -  can now hear sounds outside of my body!
 -  is beginning to form fat underneath the skin
 -  is sleeping and dreaming
 -  now has recognizable girl or boy parts (we'll find it out in 4 weeks!)

WEIGHT:  +2.5 pounds total.  That's another 1 whole pound increase from last week!  I haven't even had any chocolate this week so I'm blaming it on Baby G this time :)  Honestly, I know that it's time to expect weight gain every week.  I had a slow start so even if I gain a pound a week from now on, that's still only an estimated total of 26 lbs which is exactly in the range of what I should gain.

BODY:  Waist is still at +2 inches.  Lower belly is still at +2 inches.  Hips are now at +.75 inch - what?!  How did my hips expand this week but not my belly?!  My boobs have been slowly getting bigger over the past few weeks as well.  I started out at a "barely-b" cup and now I'm at a very full b cup.  I'm starting to bust out of my largest bras so I may have to buy some new ones soon.

THE GOOD:  The second trimester is supposed to be the best part of pregnancy.  I wouldn't have believed it last week but I do this week!  My energy is back, nausea and food aversions are gone, and I feel really good most days!

THE BAD:  1) Headaches.  Unfortunately they have always been a part of my life.  Now that I can't take anything for them (except Tylenol which doesn't work), they hit and stay for at least three days.  No fun at all!  2) Moods.  I'm still generally calm but when something irritates me or something bad happens, it really affects me!  I had my first major pregnancy melt-down this week when my car battery died (for the 4th time, and of course right after Johnnie left).  I can't remember the last time I cried that hard, and in public!  Gotta love these crazy hormones.  In case you're wondering, I did finally replace my car battery :)

FOOD:  This is what I've been waiting for!  I can finally eat whatever I want without any nausea or food aversions!  I have been craving protein lately.  I still have a protein smoothie every day, and now I'm eating eggs, chicken, ground turkey, and tuna.  I've also been craving pancakes but can't find a mix that I like.  I'm going to try making some from scratch this week :)

EXERCISE:  Now that the nausea is completely gone and my head cold is also gone, I finally have my energy back!  Dulce and I went jogging this week and it felt great!  I'm going to try to start jogging 3 to 4 days a week now and build my mileage back up.  I'm also going to try out some fitness classes at the gym this coming week :)

OTHER NOTES:  I have a new addiction to pregnancy forums.  These are websites where pregnant women write questions or comments and other people write responses to them.  Once in a while women write things that make me (and others) question their intelligence and makes me wonder why I keep reading these forums!  Below are a few doozies I've read lately.  I love that there are sarcastic women out there who write responses to some of these :)

"I was at work today chewing a piece of bubble gum, and someone knocked into me from behind and I swallowed it.  Now I'm really nervous that it's going to get into my uterus and cause problems.  I'm freaking out!  What should I do?"  
Best response: "I think your biggest worry should be blowing bubbles out of your butt when you fart."

"I'm pretty sure I'm having a girl because when I asked my magic 8 ball if the baby was is girl, it said "outlook good"."

"My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex yesterday and today my boobs are sore.  Am I pregnant?"
Best response: "Yes, you are pregnant.  With triplets.  Use a condom next time!"

“I feel like I have a bowling ball sitting on my hoohah! Apparently I have a
lot of amniotic fluid, so whenever my water breaks it will be like a fire hydrant!”
~Jessica Simpson

Home Sweet Home

After living in a hotel for over two months, we finally moved into our house last week!  We could have lived anywhere on the island that we wanted to but we chose to live on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam military base.  This is a very large base with a lot to offer such as a 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 :)

Our house is a three bedroom, two and a half bath, two-story home with a two-car garage in a four-plex building.  Located in the Onizuka Village housing area, the homes in this community were built just over a year ago and our unit only had one other family in it for a short time.  The house still looks brand new and was in move-in ready condition.

Home sweet home!  All of the houses on base look similar and are lovely shades of brown :)

The entry way as viewed from the front door:

The living room and dining room area are on the left.  A coat closet and bathroom are in the hallway that leads to the kitchen.

The half bath downstairs:

I love the size of this kitchen and all of the cabinet and counter space!  All appliances came with the house (including the washer and dryer).  We are going to use the large empty area in this room as a sitting area.  The sliding glass doors lead out to a covered porch and a yard that we will have fenced in for Dulce.

We have an actual laundry room!  The door beside the washer and dryer leads to the kitchen and I'm standing in the doorway that leads to the two-car garage.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a linen closet, a large walk-in storage closet, and a built-in technology desk with connections for phone/internet/cable.

Two bedrooms - one for guests and one for Baby G :)

The upstairs guest bathroom:

The huge master bedroom:

The master bathroom has double sinks, a garden tub, a stall shower, and a big walk-in closet.

Moving is always a pain but being military, at least it's not very hard.  When we move, the Air Force supplies a moving company that wraps and packs everything, crates the boxes, and ships them to our next station.  When our crates arrive at our new location, all we have to do is stand there with a clipboard, check off the boxes as they are unloaded, and tell the movers where in the house to put things.  We still have the job of unpacking the boxes filled with smaller items but I'm thankful that someone else does the heavy lifting!

Our moving company in Korea did an amazing job packing our belongings.  Everything arrived accounted for and undamaged!  We have all of the basics and important necessities but we are still waiting for our belongings that we left in long-term storage in Georgia while we were in Korea.  It might be another month or two before seeing those crates!  In the meantime, I'm excited to start making this house our home :)

“I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”
~Maya Angelou

Family Friday: 15 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.

15 Weeks

 -  is over 4 inches long
 -  can move his/her arms and make a fist
 -  can wiggle his/her fingers and toes
 -  can sense light even though his/her eyelids are fused shut
 -  is practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid

WEIGHT:  +1.5 pounds.  That's a 1 pound increase from last week!  Again, I am blaming some of that on the copious amount of Easter chocolate that I've been eating :)

BODY:  Not a noticeable difference in measurement this week.  I'm still about +2 inches on my waist, +2 inches on my lower belly, and +.5 inch on my hips.  I'm starting to feel pregnant now.  Although I am definitely getting thick around the middle, I wouldn't say that I actually have a "baby bump" yet.  It's more a bump made up of all my internal organs that are being shoved up and out of the way of my growing uterus, and topped with my layer of belly fat.  I'm now finding that I can't eat as much as I used to without feeling very full and uncomfortable since things are more crowded around my stomach.

THE GOOD:  The nausea appears to be gone for good and my food aversions are starting to go away!

THE BAD:  1) Illness.  This was a rough week for me, last Friday and Saturday being the worst of it.  I was incredibly sick with a headache, stuffy head, runny nose, sneezing, and achy muscles.  I managed to suffer through it by taking lots of vitamin C and using a Neti Pot for the congestion.  2) Constipation.  Isn't pregnancy glamorous?  This is a common complaint of many pregnant women.  Luckily, it's also an easily fixed issue.  I started adding the clear, flavorless Metamucil to my morning smoothies and after a few days things are flowing easily again.  3) Moods.  I was so calm and even tempered until the past couple weeks.  Lately I've more irritable with bouts of sadness.

FOOD:  More and more foods are starting to look good again.  I'm so glad for this because I love food and hated being a picky eater!  I'm starting to crave some of the food that I couldn't even look at a few weeks ago such as cereal, eggs, and meat.

EXERCISE:  None.  Unless you count moving boxes and unpacking.  I'm still not fully recovered from my cold and have had zero energy all week :(

OTHER NOTES:  This was a busy week!  On Monday I packed up our hotel room that we've been living in.  On Tuesday we got the keys to our new house and had our belongings from Korea delivered and set up.  On Wednesday we got a new bedroom set delivered (we've been waiting to buy one for three years now).  On Thursday we got internet hooked up and did some shopping for our new home.  And on Friday we picked up our car that came from Korea and started the process of getting it inspected and registered which apparently is no easy task on this island.  Johnnie has actually been gone on a temporary deployment for the past month and got home Monday night before our move.  He has been amazing all week, setting up as much as he can to make our new house comfortable for me before he leaves again for another month-long trip Saturday morning.  Saying goodbye so often is heartbreaking but after each trip we get to experience that newly-married, butterflies-in-the-stomach, honeymoon feeling all over again ;)

"Babies are a link between angels and man."
~Author Unknown

Scenic Sunday

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

Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour, New Orleans, Louisiana

"You are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations,
nor should you feel the world must live up to yours."
~F. Perl

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit