Little Letters

mocha

Dear Mochas:  I don’t know what kind of special pregnancy magic this is, but you are so, so delicious.

Dear Laundry:  You are such a pain, but it sure is nice to have clean clothes (especially since I only have a handful of things that actually fit at this point).

Dear Dryer:  Ughhhh you are obviously on your last legs, because remember how you took 140 minutes to dry that last load?  ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY MINUTES.  Like, are you drying the Pacific Ocean?  I don’t even know what to say about that.

Dear Finances:  This is the worst time of year for you and you are stressing me out tothemax.  (Oh yeah and we need to buy a new dryer.  Boooooooo.)

Dear Nursery:  We’re slooooowly starting to put you together.  Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Dear Everyone:  Now that we know the gender, I know it’s super fun to make endless joke suggestions about what we should name the bambino, but let me tell you, when literally EVERYONE is doing this, the joke gets old real fast.  (And yeah, we’re definitely going to name her “Daffodil” and call her “Daffy.”)

Dear Pregnancy Hormones:  You make me so overly annoyed about everything all the time.  (KC and I went to Cost Plus last weekend to buy a rug for the nursery and I literally almost murdered him in the store because he wouldn’t stop playing with all the musical instruments.  Oh heyyy PMS for 9 months straight.)

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen with sons:  Let’s teach our next generation of men to not be those dudes who sit and MANSPREAD in the disabled/pregnancy seating on public transit and then don’t get up for seniors and pregnant women who board the train.  (I constantly want to tap them and be like, “Your mother must be so proud of you.”)

Dear Destination Maternity:  What about how I got a totally cute shower dress for $18?  What a score.  (And what about that dress I tried on that made me look like some kind of pregnant, real housewife from LA?  So not ok.)

Dear Revealing Spandex Maternity Dresses:  Yeah, soooo I just don’t feel like pregnancy is really the time that I need to be showing off allll my assets at once.  Thanks for that option, though.

Love, Chelsea

Old Wives’ Tales (Guess the Gender)

unnamedA lot of you are probably aware that there are a lot of old wives’ tales which claim to be able to guess the gender of your unborn child before any ultrasound can tell you what you’re having.  A number of people at my work were convinced of their accuracy early on in my pregnancy and asked me a series of questions to try and guess what the wee bairn would be.

Since we now know I’m having a girl, I thought it would be fun to revisit the questions and determine whether the old wives’ tales rang true, or if it’s really just a guessing game.

So here are the questions with my responses:

1. If you have morning sickness, it’s a girl.  If you don’t, it’s a boy.
I had really bad morning sickness for 10 weeks straight, so this one actually rings true.  Result: GIRL

2. If you crave sweets, it’s a girl.  Craving sour/salt?  It’s a boy.
The first trimester I craved nothing besides salt and sour — I wanted nothing to do with sweets.  Now that I’m further along and my morning sickness has (thankfully) subsided, I looove me some sweets; so this could really go either way.  Result: UNDECIDED

3. Use a Chinese Gender Predictor to predict the sex, based on your due date and birthday.
Based on my due date (May 23, 2015) and birthday (April 10, 1984), the Chinese predictor says it’s a girl.  (Though I should note that I tried this out with my sister’s birthday and her son’s due date and it said she was having a girl as well, so that should kind of tell you…)  Result: GIRL

4. If the baby’s heartbeat is regularly above 140 bpm, it’s a girl.  Below 140 bpm — it’s a boy.
Baby’s heart rate was routinely above 140 at each of our doctor’s appointment, so this one might just be (somewhat) accurate.  Result: GIRL

5. If you prefer sleeping on your right side, it’s a girl.  If you gravitate towards the left, it’s a boy.
I toss and turn most nights, not favoring one side or the other.  Result: UNDECIDED

6. If you’re extra moody, it’s a girl.  If you’re even-keeled, it’s a boy.
I definitely haven’t been the most mellow and go-with-the-flow during this pregnancy (though I suspect this would be the same even if Baby D was a boy).  Result: GIRL

7. If you’re clumsy, you’re having a boy.  Graceful as can be?  It’s a girl.
I am the most clumsy these days (the number of times I’ve knocked silverware off the table at a restaurant in the past couple of months is kind of insane).  Result: BOY

8. More headaches mean you’re having a boy, less means it’s a girl.
I’m not generally prone to headaches, but get them occasionally since becoming pregnant (apparently it’s pretty normal due to the increase in blood flow).  Result: BOY

9. If your hands are soft, it’s a girl.  If they’re dry, it’s a boy.
My hands are dry and scaly as ever (reptile hands!)  Result: BOY

10. If you’re carrying high, it’s a girl.  If your belly is low, it’s a boy.
Maybe it’s too early to tell this one, I don’t know, but I’ve been carrying on the lower side for my whole pregnancy to this point.  Result: BOY

GIRL: 4 points  BOY: 4 points  UNDECIDED: 2 points

Sooo, I’d say don’t hang your hat on any of these…  (But they do make for kind of a fun shower game!)

Arugula and Endive Salad with Citrus

I meant to post this yesterday and forgot.  I also got on an elevator going down today and forgot to get off, leading me right back up to the floor where I had boarded the elevator.  And I almost missed my BART stop last night.

Basically, my brain is barely functioning at this point.  I keep thinking that it’s a good thing that this baby is literally attached to me, otherwise I’d probably forget her and leave her at Starbucks or something.

I’m gonna be such a good mom.

Anyway, this is a salad I made for my extended family the night of our annual cioppino feast in December.  We have a cioppino night every year around Christmas as a pseudo Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian tradition.  My mom makes a killer cioppino with seven types of seafood and we all eat way too much of it (worth it).

My contribution was this salad, which ended up pairing quite nicely with our pescatarian feast.  It’s a good recipe for a crowd if it’s a side dish, and it’s pretty dang tasty (if I do say so myself).  Plus, all the ingredients can be found at TJ’s (as this salad actually came about because I didn’t go home to grab anything out of my fridge before dinner).  So head on over to Trader Joe’s and whip this up next time you’re tasked with bringing a salad somewhere.  You won’t be sorry.

Arugula and Endive Salad with Citrus

Arugula and Endive Salad with Citrus

Salad:

  • 1 bag or large bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 3 small heads endive, washed and sliced into 1/2″ ribbons
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (I just dumped the whole pack from TJ’s in)
  • mandarin oranges from one small can, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced
  • big handful of toasted almonds, chopped (you can also buy the toasted sliced almonds at TJ’s and use those — the honey roasted ones would probably be delicious in this)
  • bleu cheese crumbles

Dressing:

You have a few options with the dressing here.  I’d recommend a standard champagne vinaigrette (equal parts champagne vinegar and olive oil + salt and pepper, or Girard’s makes a nice one).  I ended up using TJ’s Champagne Pear Vinaigrette and adding a little red wine vinegar + salt and pepper to cut down on the sweetness.  A sherry or red wine vinaigrette with a little dijon and honey added might work well also.

  1. You know the drill — put it all in a big bowl, dress it and toss it to your heart’s content.

New Year Non-Resolutions

belly

I’m fully aware that it’s now mid-January, which is totally beyond the acceptable time to start talking about new year’s resolutions.  And, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know I have mixed feelings about resolutions, but do believe in periodically taking a step back and thinking about what small changes might make a big impact in your own life every once in awhile.

And what better time than in January, when you’ve got a fresh new calendar year ahead of you?

So here we go.

My resolutions are small this year.  I’ve got kind of a lot of change happening in 2015, with even more on the horizon for 2016, so I’ve decided that I need to be a little gentler with myself this year.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, here’s a little bit about me: I’m type-A.  I will be the first to admit that I’m kind of perpetually busy, highly organized, and routined to a fault.  This means that when things get in the way of my routine or organization, my brain goes a little haywire.  And given that this little lady is about to come along and upend everything I’ve known for the past 30 years, I think I need to embrace the idea of going with the flow.

So this year my goal is to take things as they come, be kind to myself, and relax.

I’m currently working on embracing all the changes that are happening to my body (yes, I realize it’s all for a good cause, but it’s still weird to have your body change so completely and rapidly right before your eyes).  Some days are full of energy while others are achy and tiresome, so it’s been helpful to just focus on putting one foot in front of the other and think of all the wonderful things that are on the horizon (and when my abs feel like someone has been bludgeoning them repeatedly with a sledgehammer, just hope that tomorrow will be better).

I’ve embraced the idea that I may not be the person who works out regularly and continuously throughout pregnancy, and I may not be the person who eats perfectly all the time (hi, this baby loves candy as much as her mama does), but that’s all ok.  So long as I’m healthy, baby is healthy, and everything is on the up-and-up, there’s nothing to get down on myself about.  This is a philosophy I hope to carry over into parenting — looking at the big picture and trying not to sweat the small stuff.  Some days will be better than others, but with each bad day, there’s a whole new chance to start fresh the next.

Did you set any goals for yourself this year, or make any resolutions?  I’d love to hear about them!

Little Letters

unnamed-1

Dear Banana Republic:  Thanks for making such cute pieces that fit over my pregnant belly, even though they’re not actually for maternity.

Dear Maternity Tops:  What is the deal with the tie-beneath-the-boobs thing?  Can we just not?

Dear Third Trimester:  What about how you’re going to be here in February?  That’s kind of insane.

Dear KC:  Remember how for our 10 year anniversary you got me a diamond band and I got you a picture of a porcupine?  Um, yeah, gift giving is totally not one of my strong suits.  (But I’m glad you love me anyway.)

Dear Holiday Diet:  It’s a shame you can’t last through January (and February and March…), but I should probably, like, eat a vegetable or something.  Ugh, adulthood.

Dear Crate and Barrel:  It’s sort of crazy how happy seeing this little side table in our living room makes me.  It’s the little things, y’know?

Dear Kindle:  What should I read next?  I’ve kind of been on hiatus lately, but feel like I should be getting back on my reading game.  How about something not baby/pregnancy related?  (Suggestions please!)

Dear Hunger:  You’re pretty epic these days.  Even KC is impressed how much food I can take down in a single sitting.

Dear Storksak:  Thanks for making a diaper bag that’s both functional and not insanely hideous.  That’s cool of you.

Dear Haircut:  Thank goodness I finally got around to meeting up with you.  Six months is definitely wayyy too long.  (#homelesshair)

Love, Chelsea

Pregnancy Update — January

unnamed

my pregnancy brain is still happening at an epic level.  KC has even started quizzing me anytime we leave the house or another venue to make sure i’ve got everything i need.  fun fact though: i still end up completely spacing and forgetting something at least 50% of the time.  on new year’s eve we were leaving my sister’s house and KC asked me if i had gotten everything i came with; i confidently said, “yeah, all i brought were avocados!” (i made guacamole), only to have my brother text KC 15 minutes later to tell him that i had left our champagne bucket and my cell phone. oops.

weeks: 20 1/2

baby’s size:  cantaloupe

i’m feeling:  good!  my morning sickness is officially over and my energy is a little higher now that my iron pills seem to have kicked in.  i’m feeling a little more like “me” now, and i’m relishing this period of looking legitimately pregnant but still being small enough to move around fairly easily.

food love: decaf mochas — omg, i could drink these all day, everyday.  it’s an obsession.  my absolute favorite are the gigantic ones they serve in cereal bowls at la boulange (and yeah, i can totally finish the large all by myself.)

food hate:  certain types of meat are still totally unappealing.  KC has been making this pulled pork concoction from costco and i can’t even be in the room while he’s cooking it.  ugh.

3 pros for january:  1. babymoon!  2. baby is kicking up a storm these days, and KC can finally feel her kick too.  (and seeing the way his face lights up when he feels her moving in my belly — well, it just makes me want to have a whole mess of babies with him.)  3. there’s a legit pregnant belly happening over here — it feels like it’s getting bigger by the day!

3 cons for december:  1. i’m still occasionally super hormonal (i can cry at the drop of a hat and randomly go from zero to pissed in 0.1 seconds — usually about something super minor and unimportant.)  2. sleep is still tough — i toss and turn all night long, only finding a position comfortable for short spans.  3. bending over to get something off the floor is getting tougher each day — this belly doesn’t move out of the way!

currently living in:  my regular gap jeans + bellaband still.  i bought a couple new sweaters at banana republic since it was sort of freezing (uh, y’know, “california freezing”) and also purchased a new pair of jeans (in the pic above).  it’s a little weird to be buying jeans that you can’t actually button, but the maternity jeans i bought are still too big, so regular jeans + bellaband is the current uniform.

looking forward to:  getting back into a workout routine.  between the intense morning sickness of the first trimester, then the crazy anemia-fatigue followed by the holidays, my barre routine has been sorely lacking for quite awhile.

dreaming about:  setting up the nursery.  we need to clear out the space still and have a couple unfinished projects downstairs, so i’m really looking forward to getting started and seeing how it all comes together.

It’s a Girl!

unnamed-2If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile now, you know I was kind of on the fence about finding out the sex of the tiny babe currently hanging out in my midsection.  However, KC was resolute that he “had to know;” and given that I didn’t have a lot of confidence in his ability to keep the secret to himself for 20+ weeks, I determined that if he was going to find out, I would find out too.

KC thought it would be fun to try and find out the gender before Christmas and surprise our families, so we made an appointment to get an ultrasound on December 21.  We went into the appointment and asked the tech to write the gender down for us so we could look at it later.  The tech complied, and we left the appointment with the info sealed in an envelope.  The next day was the 10 year anniversary from our first date, so we had discussed opening the envelope then as a little anniversary surprise.  However, KC and I were so anxious and excited to know (keeping a secret is not exactly my strong suit) that we decided we would open the envelope that night.  We decided to head to a local Starbucks to get the news (don’t hate, we have a lot of history there).  We arrived at the cafe and took two spots in front of one of the windows.  I asked KC to look and then tell me the news.  He opened the envelope and turned away from me as he looked through the pictures.  What felt like an eternity passed and KC finally said, “I don’t know… I think it’s a boy?”  He looked confused and handed me the stack of ultrasound photos saying, “I don’t know what I’m looking at.”

I looked through the pictures — most were photos we’d already seen — the face, the profile, etc. then the one.  A foreign, grayish shape and in very small print towards the top: BABY GIRL.  KC had missed the text (it was really small, to be fair) and he wasn’t familiar with the way gender ultrasound photos are taken (y’know — “is that a leg or something else?”), so it wasn’t all that surprising that he wasn’t able to determine whether the answer was pink or blue.

I looked at him wide-eyed and said, “No, it’s a girl — look!” pointing to the BABY GIRL typed on the photo.  (And then explained what the picture was actually showing.  Yes, that’s a leg.)

I had a dream early in my pregnancy that I was having a girl and since then had not been able to shake the feeling that I was carrying a little lady.  KC had been not-so-secretly hoping for a girl (we’ve only got nephews on both sides of the family so far), so seeing the confirmation on the little ultrasound picture was both thrilling and overwhelming.  I teared up as I stared at the pictures of her, and suddenly everything felt a lot more real.  It’s been so exciting going through each week, watching my belly grow and feeling her start to move, but finding out that she’s a she has brought a whole new sense of reality to things.

We’re so excited, and while having either a boy or girl would be amazing, all we really hope for in the end is a happy and healthy baby.

PS: To reveal the gender to our parents, we wrapped up a little girl’s shirt and dress like a present and had our mom’s open them up on Christmas morning (we didn’t tell them that we found out the sex 2 weeks earlier than anticipated).  Seeing everybody’s surprise was kind of the best thing ever.  (I mean, because hello, is there anything cuter than teeny-tiny baby clothes?  I’m going with no.)  :)