Family Friday: 22 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.

22 Weeks

As you can see in the ultrasound picture below, it's definitely a girl!  This better be the only time in her life when her lady bits are displayed on the internet ;)

Here are the final results of the gender voting on the blog.  It was pretty close, but it was wrong!

Our "Gender Reveal Party" was SO much fun to do!  I ordered the gorgeous (and delicious) cake pictured below from my friend at Delicious Wishes.  She is a fellow Air Force wife so her business moves with her.  They are soon moving to Alaska so please keep Delicious Wishes in mind if you live there!

Johnnie's parents and sister are here in Hawaii visiting.  On Sunday, all of my family gathered at my parent's house in Pennsylvania and joined us via Skype.  My family thought they would just watch us cut the cake but I surprised them with a cake of their own!  My wonderful Aunt Andrea baked a cake and showed up at my parent's house unexpectedly ;)  My dad and Johnnie's mom cut the cakes at the same time and revealed the pink inside!

We recorded our Skype party to remember this special event.  My family crowd in the video consisted of my parents, my grandmother, my three brothers and their wives, my five nieces and nephews, and my aunt and uncle.  I love that we can use Skype to share things "in person" despite being so far away!

 - is about 11 inches long from head to heel
 - weighs approximately 1 pound
 - has lips, eyelids, and eyebrows that are becoming more distinct
 - has no pigment in her eyes yet
 - has tooth buds formed under her gums

WEIGHT:  +10 lbs total.  That's a one pound gain this week.

BODY:  My waist is now at +3.5 inches, my lower belly is still at +3.5 inches, and my hips are still at +1.5 inches.  

THE GOOD:  1) Gender.  Finding out the gender this week and sharing it with family and friends was amazing.  Some women argue that finding out the gender at birth is more of a surprise but I completely disagree.  There was just as much anticipation and surprise sharing the news now AND I got to watch everyone's reaction!  Besides, we still have one surprise left for everyone at the birth... Baby G's name!  2)  Movement.  Baby G is very active, which is especially in the early morning and late at night.  Now that I've seen our little girl in there on the ultrasound, there's no longer an alien-connection to feeling and seeing my belly moving.

THE BAD:  The only bad thing this week was a headache, but that's nothing new.  I had one bad one that lasted for three days.

FOOD:  Nothing new here either.  I still love eating Cheerios, pickled beets, and hot/spicy food.  Knowing that Baby G can "taste" the things I eat now makes me smile every time I eat or drink something :)

EXERCISE:  I'm still loving my Power Pump class!  It feels so good to work my muscles and I can feel myself getting stronger with each class.  I went to a prenatal yoga class this week for the first time.  It was good enough that I'll go again.  Yoga stretches feel amazing, especially in the hip area.

OTHER NOTES:  I have been convinced for years that I was only ever going to have boys.  I was completely shocked when I found out that Baby G is a girl!  It actually took me all weekend to get over the shock.  It wasn't necessarily that I was upset, it's just that I honestly never expected to have a girl!  I'm slowly getting used to the idea and starting to get excited about shopping and decorating for a little girl.  Raising her will be such a fun adventure and Johnnie will love being wrapped around her little finger :)

"A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside...
when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time,
and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone"

Family Friday: 21 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.

21 Weeks

 - is about 10.5 inches long from head to heel
 - should weigh about 11 ounces
 - is now moving and kicking with force and coordination
 - is "tasting" things, as the amniotic fluid changes daily based on what I eat
 - is beginning to form regular wake and sleep cycles

WEIGHT:  +9 pounds total.  Another 1.5 pound gain this week... maybe it's muscle gain from all the weight lifting workouts I've been doing lately?

BODY:  My waist is now at +3 inches, my lower belly is now at +3.5 inches, and my hips are now are +1.5 inches.  I've never posted my thigh measurement before but they've actually only increased .25 of an inch so far which makes me feel better about the hip size increase.

THE GOOD:  1) Movement.  Baby G wiggles around every day.  He/she moves most while I'm exercising, when Dulce curls up on my lap, and if I lay on my back.  We can now actually see my belly move on the outside when Baby G is moving!  2) Energy.  I'm thankful that I still feel great during the day and that I'm sleeping good at night.

THE BAD:  1) Movement.  As much as I love that Baby G is moving around, I don't love when he/she decides that my bladder is a comfy thing to rest upon or kick.  Sometimes Baby G can get uncomfortably low.  2) Hip Size.  I know that they are supposed to spread to make room for baby and make childbirth easier but that little 1.5 inch increase means that I am two to three sizes bigger in regular pants and shorts now.  None of my old bottoms fit anymore.

FOOD:  My favorite foods are currently pickled beets, anything spicy/hot, and Cheerios.  Not all at once though ;)

EXERCISE:  I have found my go-to class at the fitness center: Power Pump.  I go to this class two times a week and I love it!  We use weighted bars and hand weights to work all of the major muscle groups in our body.  I can feel myself getting stronger and rebuilding some muscle in my thighs, arms, and back.

OTHER NOTES:  We had our big ultrasound today!  This was an anatomy scan to check Baby G's growth and development.  Everything looked like it was supposed to.  Baby G looked healthy and was moving around.  We even saw Baby G sucking his/her thumb... aawwwww!  We saw all the parts of Baby G's body:  a perfect oval-shaped head, the brain, face, a round little stomach, heart, kidneys, bladder, bones, hands, feet, 10 fingers, 10 toes, two arms, and two long, muscular-looking legs that have been kicking me for the past couple weeks.  At this point, Baby G should weigh about 11 ounces but the ultrasound technician estimated that he/she is about 15 ounces!  No wonder I've been feeling such strong movements!

We did find out Baby G's gender but we aren't telling yet!  On Sunday we are having a little "gender reveal party" with our families.  Johnnie's family is here visiting and we will be Skyping my family who will all be gathered at my parent's house.  I've got an amazing baker who is making a pink or blue cake for us which will reveal the gender to our families.  Everyone has an idea of what Baby G's gender is so it will be tons of fun to see everyone's reactions!!

"Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here 
in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be."
~Carrie Fisher

Queen of the Yard

Shortly after moving into our new house, I installed a doggie door for Dulce.  Unfortunately, she still had to stay on a tie-out cable because our yard was unfenced.  When Johnnie got home from his last trip, we bought a sectional, no-dig fence and we Johnnie spent the weekend installing it.  It was a lot of work due to the hard, rocky ground but he did an amazing job!

Dulce once again has a freedom that she hasn't had for over a year.  She is the queen of the backyard and goes in and out of the doggie door all day long, ruling her kingdom.  She keeps an eye out for neighbors and their dogs, she keep the yard free of birds, and she is working on eradicating our yard's cricket population.

Dulce loves the weather here in Hawaii and often takes long naps out in the green grass and sunshine.

This is a short video of Dulce's first taste of off-leash freedom once we finished the fence.  She is one happy puppy :)

"This part of my life... this part right here?  This is called "happiness."
~The Pursuit of Happyness

Scenic Sunday

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

"The Boneyard" (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center), Tucson, Arizona

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it"
~Henry David Thoreau

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 20 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.

20 Weeks - halfway there!

 - is about 6.5 inches long from head to rump and about 10 inches from head to heel
 - weighs about 10.5 ounces
 - is practicing swallowing every day
 - is starting to develop immunities from antibodies that are in my body
 - is starting to recognize familiar voices, music, and sounds

WEIGHT:  +7.5 pounds total.  That's a 1.5 pound gain this week.

BODY:  My waist is at +2.75 inches, my lower belly is at +3 inches, and my hips are at +1.25 inch.  There is no denying the baby bump now!  I think I've officially left the "I look fat" phase and graduated to the "I look pregnant" phase.

THE GOOD:  1) Movement.  Although it still feels strange and alien-like, it's comforting to know that Baby G is alive and well in there.  The movements are getting stronger every day.  2) Johnnie.  Despite the craziness that accompanies pregnancy, he is the rock that keeps me grounded.  I couldn't ask for a more understanding, sweet, and helpful person to keep me sane and happy on this journey.  I love that this baby is a part of both of us and I know that Johnnie is going to be an amazing daddy <3

THE BAD:  1) Headaches.  I had a bad one that lasted for three days this week.  2) Body image.  I've always struggled with body image so honestly it's hard accepting that it's okay for my body to get bigger and wider.  I know that I'm supposed to gain weight and inches because there is a living baby growing inside of me.  It's an amazing thing but it's still strange to see my body changing in the mirror every day.

FOOD:  You always hear about pregnant women eating pickles but I actually haven't been able to eat them unless they are on a sandwich.  However, there is one pickled thing I do want to eat every day and that is pickled beets.  I stock up on the small cans of the beets and eat a whole can at once.

EXERCISE:  This week I hit the gym a few times.  I worked out on an elliptical machine and the weight machines.  I did a yoga class that was very slow moving which I think the baby loved because it was squirming all around :)  My favorite this week was a Power Pump class which used weights to work all the large muscles in the legs, arms, and back.  Exercising while pregnant has so many benefits for mom and baby such as 1) your body feels and functions better  2) you sleep better  3) building strong muscles and endurance helps with labor and delivery  4) the placenta is stronger and better functioning  5) the baby will be leaner (though not under-weight) and is less likely to become an overweight child.

OTHER NOTES:  Allow me to rant about maternity clothes this week.  I have always looked forward to the day when I could shop the cute maternity fashions that are available.  I just never imagined that I'd be living in Hawaii when that time came.  There are a very limited number of maternity stores on this island and the regular clothing stores have a small, not-my-taste selection of maternity clothes.  I am seeing the same maternity fashions everywhere I go and I'm not happy with them.  1) Horizontal stripes.  I really don't need to look any wider than I already am!  2) Flap pockets on the back of pants and shorts.  Thanks, but I really don't need the extra fabric to draw attention to my already-larger bottom!  3) Light blue denim.  I won't even wear that when I'm not pregnant.  4) Round necklines with gathers and/or embellishments.  Way too much of this, I need some variety to choose from!  5) The worst thing - sizing.  Number sizes disappear in maternity clothes and are replaced with small, medium, and large.  Women in the States vary greatly in height and weight so this is an awful idea!  So far I'm managing to get by wearing larger, low-rise shorts, stretchy shirts, and sundresses.

We only have one week left until we find out the gender of Baby G!  We are SO excited!  Our appointment is next Friday afternoon and we aren't telling family until Sunday which means that all of our blog readers/friends will have to wait until the May 25th Family Friday post to find out... sorry!  Voting for the gender will stay active until May 23rd.  As I'm writing this, more people are thinking that Baby G will be a girl!

"I've got you under my skin
I've got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me
I've got you under my skin."
~Frank Sinatra

Finding Korea in Hawaii

After living in South Korea for a year, I was actually sad to leave!  Our year there was packed full of adventures and experiences and I'm so glad we have this blog to remind us of everything we did.

There were many Korean products and foods that I grew to love while living there and was saddened at the thought of no longer having access to them.  Little did I know, Hawaii has a growing population of Koreans that live here.  That means Korean products, food, and restaurants are here too!

I spotted a Korean supermarket when we first moved here and finally ventured into it recently.  I had a huge smile on my face the entire time, despite the familiar pungent Korean smells :)  The Palama Supermarket is in the Waimalu Shopping Center in Aiea off of the Kamehameha Highway.

They had a selection of fresh kimchi.

Red bean and red pepper pastes - yum!

A selection of baking and cooking mixes, flours, powders, etc.

Instant ramen and udon noodles.

Korean snacks and candy :) 

A few packages were actually written in Korean and English.  Almost everything else had a nutrition label written in English stuck on it.  This was really interesting to me.  I saw these items for a year and never knew the ingredients.  Now here they were, easy for me to read at last.  The ingredient list on many items surprised me.  Some were a good surprise containing few, all natural ingredients when I expected there to be more.   Whereas other things were a bad surprise, containing ingredients that I try to stay away from, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other unnatural substances.

These Korean cookies are my favorite so I was really excited to find them here!  The ingredient list is questionable however... "contains wheat, milk, shellfish"...  uh, shellfish?!!  I'm sure that is referring to the "shell calcium" that is listed but it's still strange!  It makes me worry about non-Korean speaking people living in Korea who can't read the nutrition labels.  Someone allergic to shellfish probably wouldn't think twice about eating these yummy little cookies.

A fine selection of Korean coffee (Maxim!) and tea (leaves, powders, and jellies).

Korean drinks.  Aloe drinks can be found everywhere in Korea and have a cool refreshing flavor.

So what did I end up buying to satisfy my Korea cravings?  I bought some of my favorite Korean snacks; the crisp, buttery Lotte Waffle cookies and the sweet "shellfish" cookies.  I also bought some Korean teas that I love (honey citron and plum) which are a sweet jelly that you mix with hot water.  I also got some Korean pancake mix (only one brand without MSG) and some yummy pumpkin pasta.

I am SO excited that I can purchase these products here whenever I want, especially the teas!

"Joy is not in things; it is in us."
~Richard Wagner

Scenic Sunday

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

Tikal National Park, Guatemala

"As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do."
~Zachary Scott

To see other blogs that feature a Scenic Sunday, visit

Family Friday: 19 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.

19 Weeks

 -  is about 6 inches long from head to rump
 -  weighs about 8 ounces
 -  is designating specialized areas in the brain for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch
 -  is forming a waxy coating (vernix caseosa) on his/her skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid
 -  has arms and legs that are now in proportion to the rest of the body

WEIGHT:  + 6 pounds total.  Another whole pound increase from last week :/

BODY:  My waist is still at +2.5 inches, my lower belly has increased to +2.75 inches, and my hips have stayed the same at +1 inch.  I finally have a real baby bump!  My lower belly is now firm and if I lay on my stomach, it feels like I'm laying on a ball.

THE GOOD:  Movement.  I only felt that one somersault last week but this week (especially the past few days) I've been feeling a lot of movement!  It still makes me catch my breath every time.  It is pretty amazing to feel but honestly it freaks me out a little too.  Having something alive inside of me moving around reminds me of all the Alien movies I watched when I was younger :)  I know that seeing Baby G on the ultrasound in a couple weeks will help change that image.

THE BAD:  1) Irritability.  I'm generally amazed by how calm and relaxed I feel during this pregnancy but I swear that for a few days every month, I get short-tempered and irritable!  To top that off, I always get a pimple or two at this same time as well.  Is it possible to still get PMS while you're pregnant?  I swear that my body is still on a monthly hormonal cycle.  2) Round Ligament Pain.  I imagine I'll be experiencing these short, sharp pains for months to come.  It's bearable, just annoying.

FOOD:  I'm not craving anything in-particular this week, but I am craving sweet things in general and sweet liquids more than food.  Some of the liquid sweets that I go for include sweet tea (black or Korean citron), decaf soy mochas from Starbucks, and my morning protein smoothies which are a sweet blend of vanilla, chocolate, and fruit.

EXERCISE:  The best exercise this week was a 4-mile walk at sunset with Johnnie and Dulce :)  I only went jogging once this week but I have been riding my bike as transportation around base more.  I finally did The Perfect Pregnancy Workout DVD that I bought months ago.  It is a sculpting workout that uses almost every muscle in your body, including abs and kegels!  It includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced modifications for almost every exercise.  It was a great workout and I definitely felt this (in a good way) the next day.

OTHER NOTES:  Johnnie is home!!  We've been on this island for about three months and he's been gone for two.  He has had a few days off this week so we have been busy getting things done.  We finally bought a mattress for our new bedroom set, we bought a fence for the backyard so Dulce can have some freedom, we got Johnnie's car registered, and also got Dulce registered.  It is SO nice having our family back together again :)

Don't forget to vote for Baby G's gender in the top right corner of this page.  As I'm writing this, guesses for boy and girl are tied!  I still have no idea myself, although I did have a dream the other night that we're actually having twins and I was worried about exchanging the stroller that we got!  Two more weeks until we find out!!

"Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside."
~Rita Rudner