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Friday, November 7, 2014



Well these two certainly are brothers.

As soon as we posted pictures of Dumpling 
we started getting comments about how much these two looked like each other.


While they looked nearly identical at birth,
we started seeing differences shortly after.

Dumpling is a little softer, with fuller features,
Peanut's features were finer.


It seems that every day Dumpling looks more and more like himself
and less like Peanut
but sometimes the similarities are overwhelming.


Personality-wise these two could not be more different thus far.

It's sort of hilarious.
This baby is low-maintenance.

So perhaps this one will take more after B
unlike his big brother who has my more shall we say, demanding personality.

Are your kids similar in temperament?
What about you and your siblings?

Peanut's pictures taken by Jylare Anne Photography
Dumpling's pictures taken by Kelly Lombardo Photography

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Documenting Dumpling


I've been neglecting my duties in showing off the newborn cuteness.

For this I apologize and invite you to indulge in these tasty pictures by Kelly Lombardo Photography
She also took these awesome pictures of Peanut when he was 2!


They don't stay newborn for long and I already miss the little frog legs and wrinkly hands and feet.



I love the way he scrunches up and grunts and groans.


I've seriously never heard a noisier sleeping child.  Oh the grunting all. night. long.


There is seriously nothing sweeter than a sleeping child.


We were only able to convince big brother to get in on the pictures by telling him he could lay on this super soft blanket.


The fact that she was able to get some good shots of them was a miracle.




Oh that sweet and innocent look.



This picture.

I cannot get enough of this picture.


And yes, he did look just like Peanut when he was born!

He's already changed so much that he's looking a lot less like his brother.
 I'll have to do a side by side post some time soon.  

Of course, I'll be sharing more pictures with you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Like Father, Like Son

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Today is B's birthday!

Sometimes the similarities between father and son really come out.

Like when they are eating their crazy foods.

And definitely in their facial expressions.

PicMonkey Collage

I especially love these shots.

Unplanned and identical.

It's freaking me out.

PicMonkey Collage

These two are goofy but then with B as a father, Peanut was bound to be a little odd.

PicMonkey Collage

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


But don't worry Dumpling...

PicMonkey Collage

there is plenty of time for daddy and big brother to teach you all their mannerisms.


Happy birthday to a wonderful and weird father!


We love you old man!

Maternity photos taken by Adrienne Gunde
Newborn photos taken by Kelly Lombardo

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Family Maternity Shoot


Well Adrienne Gunde has done it again.
She's documented out Engagement, Wedding and pregnancy with Peanut.


This summer was really busy for me.
4 jobs.  An active preschooler.

I hadn't really thought about what I wanted to do for the shoot like I normally do.
One night I was sitting in Peanut's room and decided we'd steal his teepee for the pictures.


But in all honesty I don't really worry about it because her pictures are always gorgeous.


I really just wanted a few of us as a family.
Our last few as a family of three.


And a few of this gigantic belly.

I earned this belly and the privilege of carrying this baby.

I want it documented.


Otherwise noone would believe how big it was!

I want my boys to know how much I loved being pregnant with them.
I reeeaaalllyyy love being pregnant.
Despite all the down sides and the inability to move well and… you know what I mean.


Peanut has loved watching baby brother grow in mommy's tummy.


He was the first person besides me to feel the baby move,
and he spent a great deal of time talking and singing to baby brother.

Peanut is just such a big boy now.

Although we hadn't planned a 4 year spread between our boys,
I'm so grateful to have had the time with Peanut to ourselves.


I'm glad he got to be our baby for so long
and I think he will make an awesome big brother.


We've spent lots of time preparing for the little one.


But even more time soaking up the Peanut
because life is going to change


in so many ways and we don't want to miss these moments.


Sometimes you are just reminded that everyday is a pleasure.


And that there is only so much time for a photo shoot before the kids decide they are over.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet the Dumpling!


On Labor Day I woke up in the wee hours to a little trickle.
The trickle continued down my legs as I waddled to the bathroom.
I went potty.  Still trickling afterwards.
I told B my water might be leaking?  Then nothing.

And then I smelled it.

I know you're probably gagging right now but I've been told that amniotic fluid sometimes smells sweet.  I had to smell it.
You would have done the same thing.  Maybe.

But it didn't smell like anything.  Not like pee.  Not sweet.  Just nothing.

So I checked in at Labor & Delivery in the afternoon where they found no traces of fluid.
So either I did leak some fluid OR it was cervical fluid OR I peed myself repeatedly.

All these options are feasible and part of the joys of pregnancy.


What I did find out was that I was dilated to 3 cm (YAY!) and having regular contractions.
I'd been having Braxton Hick's since month 7 so this was not news to me.

 BUT more importantly we solved a great mystery!!

A mystery to me and definitely to some of you who want to know how in the world I was so HUGE.
Like look at that belly, it might fall off, how many kids are you having, how are you standing up, kind of huge.

I had Polyhydramnios which is an excess of amniotic fluid!

Lots and lots of fluid in there.  Dumpling was just swimmin' around.
They also guessed the baby would be about 8 1/2 lbs which kinda worried me.
I'm only 4'11" you know.
They made a few appointments for extra testing in regards to the fluid
 to make sure everything was OK.

They offered to keep me in the hospital for a while but I opted to go home.
My parents were keeping Peanut over for the night so I went home to relax with B.

I spent the night going through baby names trying to come up with something that B would like.
I failed by the way and we used the name he started calling the baby about 5 months ago.


At 1:35 am I woke up to my first painful contraction.
I went back to sleep and woke 15 minutes later to another one.

*At 2 am I started timing my contractions (with an iPhone App which cracked me up).
*At 2:30 my contractions were 5 minutes apart and we started to get ready to go to the hospital.
*A little after 3 am we were getting into the car when I called L&D
to let them know we were coming in.

They very politely told me that Labor & Delivery at our hospital in Irvine was FULL.

We were being diverted to the Anaheim hospital.
I tried to breathe through a contraction while she gave me the address.
I plugged it into my phone to find it added 20 minutes to our travel time.

That seems like a long time when you are in labor.
I thought about all the stories from friends who missed the epidural because it was too late when they checked in at the hospital.  I'm a fan of pain management. 
I'm just sayin'.  I am in awe of all you women who chose to do it all naturally.

Contractions were 3 minutes apart.


We pulled into the hospital parking lot and had no idea where to go having toured a different facility.

A very nice guard directed us and offered a wheel chair.
When I said I thought I could make it, he insisted saying, "You're going to be in enough pain today, you might as well take it easy on the way up there".  He is a very wise man.

We checked in about 3:45 am.
Everything else seemed to have flown by.
I say this now but contractions seem to slow time down to a crawl.
The nurses were absolutely fantastic and supportive.
The first one talked me through breathing as she tried to wrangle someone to check me out.
Contractions were coming about a minute apart.  I was so relieved to hear I was dilated to 5 cm.

Not only because I didn't miss the epidural but also because I was in labor with Peanut for 7 hours and still only dilated to 1 cm.  It was awful. 


They moved us into a delivery room and my mom joined us while my dad stayed home with Peanut who was still sleeping.

At 7 cm dilated the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural.  It hurt.  Not a lot but he did numb me twice.  And then it only worked on my right side.

So I could still feel everything on my left side which made for interesting labor.

In the mean time MY WATER BROKE which I could feel and all I can say is
Thank God I Wasn't Out In Public
because it was a LOT of fluid.  Like drench the bed/table make puddles on the floor fluid.
ut in public that would have been traumatic for everyone.

And my stomach deflated.
It visually went down which is really bizarre. 
That's saying a lot because childbirth in general is just bizarre.

I felt bad for the nurse who had to clean up.
This is why I packed little thank you gifts of Burt's Bee's products and nail polish to give to the nurses I liked.  In my previous delivery I probably would have kept all the gifts because my nurses were all grumpy.  Do you remember how I made Lime Bars?  This time I wish I had brought more gifts because everyone was so awesome.


The anesthesiologist came back in and apparently hit me with another full dose.
The perk is that it kicked in shortly before it was pushing time!
The downside was that he gave me so much I couldn't walk until 4 pm that evening.
It was a little alarming.

The nurses came in, I pushed twice and the little Dumpling was born.

With the cord wrapped once around his neck and twice around his body!

Part of the problem with an excess in amniotic fluid is that there is the possibility of delivery issues. 
At only 7 pounds 4 ounces, 20 inches long (4 ounces and 1 inch smaller than his brother), Dumpling had lots of room to move around and get himself tangled.

A lot of things could have gone wrong, but none of them did.
We are so grateful.


September 2, 2014
I started counting contractions at 2 am,
checked into the hospital at 3:45 am
and had the baby at 7:19 am!


He's lovely and perfect and we are all very happy.
This one is spoiling me for sure.  He actually sleeps.

Big brother is doing well, much better than I expected.
He loves his little brother and takes his job very seriously.
I have noticed an increase in drama and tears lately.
Peanut also started school a few days later so there has been a lot going on
but I think we are all adjusting wonderfully!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Pregnancy Body… and Stretch Marks

When I got pregnant with Peanut my body was totally on my side.  It had taken me through cancer.  It held up phenomenally through 16 months of treatment, weight gain, hair loss, weird drugs, radiation burns and even weirder side effects.

After chemo ended, I rewarded it by losing 25 lbs and getting in shape.  Arguably the best shape I'd been in since dancing 6 days a week in high school.  Then I got engaged and was in even better shape. I worked out regularly, I mentally and often physically journaled my food, I drank 12 glasses of water a day.  I got regular sleep.  We took our honeymoon in New Zealand where we balanced our eating of enormous amounts of food with vigorous activities like climbing glaciers and kayaking rough waters.

My body rewarded me with a quick and surprising pregnancy.  I felt fantastic.  I was tired and a little nauseous for the first trimester.  Then I felt great.  I felt the pregnancy high.  I developed gestational diabetes but my body was still on my side.

I made it up until the last week of my pregnancy without any stretch marks.  It's as if my body just couldn't hold out any more and you know what, I really couldn't blame it.

Taken just now, it's been a hot and humid day so I'm counting on you guys just focusing on the belly.
Oh, the belly.

Then things changed.

I rewarded my loyal body by getting very little sleep over the next 3 1/2 years.  Peanut still wakes in the night some times.  I thought about working out more but never did so regularly.  I lost weight and gained it and lost it again.  I worked too many hours, got too little sleep.

I got pregnant twice.  Actually this is the third pregnancy since Peanut.

Now my body is angry.  I can't blame it.  Instead of growing a baby it's quite possible I'm growing a watermelon and then there are the stretch marks.  The ones I already had from Peanut showed up immediately in that pale, silvery way.  I didn't pay much attention.

Then my skin started to itch.  There were a few weeks where the 2 inches below my belly button felt like my muscles were tearing apart.  I didn't feel any better when my doctor told me it was actually just my abdominal muscles separating… which is apparently better than tearing apart.  Who knew?

And now, the stretch marks are spreading out.  From my belly button and below they are there and they don't feel good.  At least I assume they are below but I can't really see.  I have 2 giant X-shaped stretch marks coming from the long ago belly button piercing I had.

I'm losing hope of one day wearing those super cute, retro, above the belly button bikinis some day.  And yes, I know this is all worth it, really I know.  But seriously, I'm just not sure how much more this skin of mine can take :)

This was not the belly I had during my first pregnancy.  This is craziness.  If this baby comes out a mere 6 lbs or something, I'm going into hiding.

Overall, I'll admit that I feel better in my pregnancy body than I do normally.  There are no fat rolls, no muffin top, I welcome fitted clothes.  But now there is the sensation, after a long day on my feet, that my pelvic bone might be fracturing.  And my hips hurt and sometimes I limp.  And if I sit for a long time my legs fall asleep because my belly cuts off circulation to my legs regardless of the fact that my legs are spread in a really uncomplementing way.   I'm amazed that my body will some day pull itself back together…. because have you seen this belly?!

And all you ladies out there who don't get stretch marks.  Well, I can't type what I think of you here… because this is a family blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Labor Amnesia

I often hear people say that after the baby is born a mother forgets what labor was like.

To which I say



Yes, yes, you are overcome with love for your new little bundle of joy and that may take your mind off your battered, possibly stitched, and definitely swollen nether regions.  

Obviously I consider this all very worth it because I did try for 2 years to have another baby but

Labor Sucks.

And I don't like pain.  I'm not going to lie.
I'm not going to try and go without drugs.
And I haven't forgotten what it was like.

Seriously, I would need to suffer a special type of amnesia to forget labor.  And I had an epidural.  So perhaps I'm just remembering the first part of active labor and the aftermath.

Oh the aftermath

So with 19 days until due date, I'm here to say, 
I know what's coming and I'm not exactly looking forward to it.

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