Friday, October 10, 2014

my cousin vinny and my first week of work

i am oh so very fortunate to have a husband who is almost 40 (love you), who likes to make me watch his favorite movies from the 80s and 90s. mostly bad ones, i mean, like terrible ones - case in point, the last dragon. don't tell me it's good. i know i will hear it from those who are part of its cult following but it's so bad. i mean, the very reason it has a cult following is because it's so unbelievably bad it's amusing. and for SH, the general rule is, the worse the movie, the better. one welcome exception to this rule is my cousin vinny. it's a great movie, and SH's favorite. apparently, he and his friends watched it so much in college they wore out the VHS (yes, VHS) tape, so they immediately went out and bought another one.

anyhow, yesterday all of a sudden this scene popped into my head:

"Lisa, I don't need this. I swear to God, I do not need this right now, okay? I've got a judge that's just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. Slaughtered pigs. Giant loud whistles. I ain't slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, AND a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids. Not to mention your [tap tapBIOLOGICAL CLOCK - my career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we pile on? Is there any more shit we can pile on to the top of the outcome of this case? Is it possible?"

fyi, this is my second favorite part of the movie, right after the "doe-eyed deer" scene. anyway...i think there's a reason i thought of this scene. it was my first full week of work after mat leave. my mom left two days before i started work. we are in the process of buying a house, and the mortgage application process has been painfully drawn out because the property is new construction. our current house is a mess - in a weird limbo between living and packing. lana and jonah are both sick. i cook what feels like all the time (and burnt a pasta casserole i made and almost cried). jonah is still on a bottle strike and will eat max 6oz all day while i'm at work, so i'm an anxious mess every day as i rush home to nurse him, all while feeling terrible for the nanny. i keep getting stuck in traffic - first it was the UN, then it was obama, then it was a bus with a blown tire. my pelvic problem has not fully gone away. my postpartum insane-hair-falling-out stage has begun. i am really really exhausted. but at the same time, i don't know. i mean. i'm not really surprised, i'm not really mad or upset. i'm just tired. and i think this is probably normal for a working mom with two kids. exhaustion = normal. -_- it also probably gets much better once jonah is a little older (please tell me i am not deluded in thinking this). the easiest part in all this is work itself. work is easy compared to everything else that happens as a result of work! i think 50% of my stress would be reduced if i didn't have to commute, or if i could teleport. i'd take either, though i'd prefer the latter, because then i could teleport to hawaii or florida if i need a break and be back by dinnertime.

so. that was my week. so, SO thankful that it's friday and that i work from home on fridays, although it hasn't been much of a break at all being home with a sick toddler and a baby who refuses to take even an ounce from a bottle because he knows i'm home, even though i'm hiding upstairs. HOW DO THEY KNOW??

but then i look at this picture and i, you know, feel a little better.

the moral of this post is come over and play with our kids and help us pack. i will pay you with food, since i'm cooking all the damn time anyway. and maybe my cousin vinny will even be on TV. i mean it's on all the time. and who doesn't need a little more marisa tomei wearing an english garden as a romper in their lives?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

i think someone messed with the speed of time

i'm serious. seriously, for serious, where did this year go? and at the risk of being the 46934985th mom to say this - where did my maternity leave go? i mean, really, where did it go?? i had jonah, then it was a blur, then i was soooo sleepy (i think that was my last post), then i breastfed what felt like every minute of every day and my boobs hurt like hell, then they got better, then it was more of a blur, then jonah started sleeping a lot better and now i go back to work. the last post i wrote was when jonah was 5 weeks old, and now he's over 3 months old! i mean, i start work in THREE DAYS. :( truth is i don't mind work itself, but i'm just not ready to go back yet. i'm really not. there's so much i wanted to get done during leave and it didn't happen. i wanted to start working out (nope). i wanted to get jonah on a 3 hour schedule (nope - the kid wants to eat ALL. THE. TIME. i guess you don't get to be a 17 pound 3 month old by eating every 3 hours). i wanted to declutter the house (nope). i wanted to get lana sleep trained. (NOPE.) perhaps i was too ambitious. or perhaps someone really did speed up time. in which case i should get some more leave time to get these things done.

despite everything i didn't get done, my maternity leave was really awesome. it's been so nice being at home with both kids (read: it's been so nice being home with both kids, with my mom doing almost everything). even though most of the time i was focused on jonah, i've been able to spend a lot of quality time with lana too. i love picking her up from school and taking her to the playground, something i can't do once i go back to work. i think she's the kid that makes her teachers think to themselves, "i'm not getting paid enough for this." other kids get picked up by their parents and it's a quick hi/bye, but when i pick up lana the teachers always have a bunch of stories to share with me. -_- at least they usually say it with smiles on their faces (though sometimes, they look really tired...mental note: get teachers nice christmas gifts).

anyway, it's not so much the work part that i'm worried about, it's everything else that happens as a result - waking up super early, the morning craze, commuting, pumping at work, jamming all errands into the weekend, cooking all day sunday for the week ahead, etc. i keep thinking back in awe at my pre-kids life, esp. the weekday mornings. i mean, we got up, walked sammie, drank some coffee, showered, and went out the door? unbelievable. did we know how good we had it?? what makes it infinitely worse is that my mom leaves tomorrow. insert a million frowny faces here. she's been doing everything for us. i don't think i'll ever really know how hard it is to have a new baby because my mom did so much of the stuff that parents normally have to do. in jonah's 3+ months of life i think i've bathed him about 5 times. my mom did all the rest of the baths. i think in the past 3 months i've cooked dinner about 5 times also. my mom cooked every other home-cooked meal (and we did eat out a bit on days when everyone was down for the count). she did a lot of the daycare dropoffs and pickups for lana. she made sure i took a 2 hr nap every day, even if it meant watching both kids (something i haven't yet done for more than one hour at a time). i know we'll eventually find our rhythm and be ok (i think), but i'm a little terrified of going down to man-to-man coverage with the kids. since jonah's been born it's always been 3 on 2, and now it's going to be 2 on 2. -_- and sometimes, i think lana is more like 1.5. but jonah is a pretty good sleeper so far (sleeps up to 5-7 hr stretches) so that makes things much better. but honestly, i know that these are the complaints and fears of someone who is extremely lucky and blessed - blessed with having been spoiled by help from family, blessed with two awesome kids, blessed with jobs. i know it's going to be crazy but i guess that's the definition of life with kids? i probably wouldn't change much at all (except my parents living here...and maybe a much shorter commute...and eventually working part-time...and cheaper housing prices...ok fine maybe i'd change some things but you get the point). i thank God every day for these "problems" in my life but that doesn't change the fact that i still am terrified. so i'm praying for a smooth transition. 

jonah is 100 days old today. we celebrated with family yesterday, and i'm glad the timing worked out that my mom could be here for it. someone wasn't thrilled about wearing a suit so we took it off him. but i did manage to get a tie on his onesie. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5.5 weeks in: i dream of sleep

jonahpants was 5 weeks old this past saturday. on friday we went to his one month appointment and he now weighs almost 11 pounds. no one would ever guess he was a late-term preemie. he gained 4 pounds in 4 weeks - so he went from the 20th percentile to the 75th percentile. my arms know it ain't no lie.

he's been good overall. there was that growth spurt stage at 2-3 weeks that was rough, and he's getting gassier which sometimes makes feedings harder. he's also learned that being held beats lying alone in the crib or bouncer. but overall i don't think we can really complain. it's hard and tiring but it's normal hard and tiring. 2 nights ago he slept a 4 hour stretch which was glorious. 4 hours feels like 7 these days. i hope he continues to stretch out his night feedings. i take naps every day but i'm still living in that sleep deprivation fog, the one where you'd give up riches and fame and a date with mark wahlberg for just 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. i'm bracing myself though - while most of the early days with lana are now a blur at best, i still remember very clearly one particular night when she was 6 weeks old. she didn't eat or sleep from 9pm-3am. she cried the entire 6 hours. we were in complete panic mode and utterly exhausted. when we started telling our pediatrician about it, he chuckled and said it was the "witching hour" which for some reason conjured very disturbing scenes from the blair witch project. apparently babies are known to be super fussy in the evenings. i was so relieved to find out it was a known phenomenon and it wasn't just our kid being a baby terrorist. after doing some extremely scientific research on the internets, i also learned that 6-9 weeks of age is particularly difficult for everyone involved. it is a period of rapid neurological development for the babies so they go through a lot of fussiness, this on top of the gas issue. so they don't eat well, don't sleep well, they cry and cry, and in turn make their parents cry too. all this to say, jonah baby, please be kind to mommy and daddy the next few weeks. 

speaking of terrorists, lanapants has become one. we've been very fortunate that lana has been overall very easy behaviorally. she is easy to take out and about, listens pretty well, has a very happy temperament and doesn't tantrum much. that was...until a few weeks ago. she has been an utter terror the past few weeks. it's probably a combination of jonah jealousy and becoming three soon. In the US we talk about terrible twos but in korea it's actually terrible threes and this time i think the koreans got it right. she is still very sweet to jonah and i don't think she'll ever take it out on him, but she often gets jealous if someone holds jonah, like she'll ask me to hold her right when i start feeding him. she throws tantrums for no apparent reason and we cannot figure out what's wrong bc she refuses to talk. she gives major attitude. she's regressing in the potty training department. it's pretty exhausting. and since she hasn't given us much reason to practice discipline until now, we find ourselves often wondering whether to approach her with toughness or gentleness. on monday she had a total meltdown and i felt i had no choice but to put on the mean mom face and discipline her pretty strictly. it actually worked though which was encouraging. while she's pushing boundaries like crazy she doesn't not care about our reaction - she definitely fears "time out" and getting punished. this is an area of parenthood i could do without - tips are appreciated from seasoned (and battered) parents. now i feel bad about all those times andy and i fought and drove my mom crazy, even though, obviously, he always started it.

anyway, to give my mom and me a break, sh took lana to my in-laws' place yesterday for the night. then my mom offered to take jonah overnight so i could get a real night's sleep. i tried to fight her bc i thought it'd be too tiring for her but she wouldn't take no for an answer. i couldn't really sleep for the whole night straight bc the milk factory operates 24/7, but i definitely slept so much better without jonah. i went to my mom's room to nurse him once at midnight, then pumped one other time. but basically i slept from 9-5:30 and only woke up twice so it was so nice! sh probably slept the night straight though… -_-

Monday, July 14, 2014

jonahpants: 3 weeks

jonah's actual due date was yesterday, 7/13 (again, can't IMAGINE), but he is showing no signs of being an early baby. in one week, he gained 1lb 3oz, so as of last friday he was 8lb 9oz. he is fattening up and getting noticeably chubbier by the day. he is definitely able to take in more at every feeding. he is rarely satisfied with 2oz anymore and has even eaten 4+oz here and there. he's falling into a pattern of cluster feeding in the evenings - eating almost every hour for about a three-hour stretch sometime between the hours of 8pm and 1am and then sleeping a good 3-3.5 hours till the next feeding. sometimes we get lucky and that stretch is 10-12, and other times we are not so lucky and it's 12-2 -_-.

the big thing that happened this past week is we found out that jonah needed to get circumcised…again. our pediatrician told us two weeks ago that he didn't like the way it looked, and that he thought my OB had botched the initial job by not taking enough skin off. so last week we went to see a pediatric urologist who confirmed that it would need to be redone. he said we had a choice to do it now or later on when he's around 2, but later on means general anesthesia because it's hard to control a flailing 2 year old. needless to say, we were so pissed. it's hard enough to deal with the fact that they have to go through it once (though, i'm pretty sure it's harder on us than it is on him), but to have to make him go through it again really made us mad. i called my OB and told her what our pediatrician said, but she stood by her procedure and said she did it right, and that she was making sure she didn't take too much off because that comes with its own complications. i mean, what do i say to that? i just left that conversation at that. anyway, so we opted to do it right away - why not avoid general anesthesia if you can. so today was the procedure. we really really loved the pediatric urologist. he was so friendly, warm and reassuring, and true to his word, the whole procedure seemed to take less than 10 minutes. i'm just so glad it's over and hopefully this time it's done properly and we don't have to deal with this again.

my recovery feels like it's two steps forward, one step back. there are days when i feel pretty good, and i don't know, maybe because i feel pretty good i overdo it, which makes the next day not feel so good? not sure if that's the case or not but i guess it's possible. some days i don't really feel the incision too much, and other days it (and the surrounding area) stings/pinches/pulls/hurts so much. today i actually felt a little pelvic pain and i freaked out that the SPD was coming back, but i'm hoping it's not that...and that the pain was just a result of sleeping on my side last night, which i think was a bad move. i think (hope/pray) that i'm still just very stiff in the pelvic/hip area and the sleeping on the side put extra pressure on those bones. we'll see how i feel the next few days. once i hit one month postpartum i'm going to start going to the chiropractor/acupuncturist again. i think that'll help my hip, pelvic bone, back, etc. loosen up a bit. i'm starting to feel restless though. i can't wait to feel normal and be out and about again. because i only gained 13 pounds during the pregnancy, i've lost all the extra weight, but it'll take a while for my belly to go down and for me to be back in non-maternity clothes. but once i am wearing my normal clothes again, i feel a shopping spree coming on. :D

jonahpants! (smiling after making a big poo)

Sunday, July 6, 2014


if jonah hadn't come early, tomorrow would have been his birthday. 7/7/14 would have been a nice birthday...but i think the good lord knew i was really at my wit's end and so allowed for jonah to come early. i can't IMAGINE still being pregnant, and with how my pelvic pain was progressively getting worse, i probably would've been on bedrest the past couple weeks if he were still inside my belly. speaking of pelvic pain -- i am now basically off pain meds (fully off the percocet and only taking advil as needed) and it seems like the pelvic pain is gone! i guess it's really true that it can go away right after you give birth. just shows you how powerful (and scary) hormones are. the hormones are also making me experience some crazy mood swings. my highs are so high and my lows are so low. they're pretty short-lived but i can actually feel them coming on. i don't remember them being so distinct and recognizable with lana.

jonah was 2 weeks this past saturday. at his 2 week appointment, he weighed 7 lbs 6 oz, so he gained a half a pound in a week! boy eats and sleeps and poos like a champ. i think since yesterday he's been going through a growth spurt. he used to sleep a good 3-3.5 hours in between feedings, but since yesterday he's been waking up sometimes every hour or every other hour screaming and ravenous. -_- of course, it's more frequent at night. i think his days and nights are slightly flipped, much to our dismay.

lana has been a great older sister. the first week she definitely acted out but since then she seems to have gotten into the swing of things. she is so sweet to jonah and gives him lots of kisses, and whenever she wants to touch him she says "i need to wash my hands first, right?" i think she's liking this whole new sibling thing because everyone that comes over seems to be so concerned about how she's adjusting that they bring just as many gifts for her as they do for jonah! we keep joking that she'll want more siblings to keep up the parade of gifts coming to her.

sh goes back to work on wednesday and i am kind of dreading it. when he's home, it's 3 adults to 2 kids so we outnumber the little suckers. once he goes back to work, it'll be man to man with my mom and me. lana goes to school mon/wed/fri so those days will be easier, and come august she'll be in school every day. just gotta get through the first several weeks and hopefully we'll fall into a rhythm.
i'm feeling much better the past few days - the incision is less painful and i'm more mobile. i still feel really tired by early afternoon though and that's when i try to get in my 2 hour nap. the hardest thing is breastfeeding. i forgot how hard it is! we really do have parenting amnesia. i keep saying "was breastfeeding this hard with lana?" and it probably was, but i really have a hard time remembering. i'm already dreading the prospect of pumping at work even though i have 12 more weeks until i have to deal with that. i can't believe some mommy friends pumped 3x a day. i mean, how do you get any work done? also, how do you even manage that? i mean...i just HATE pumping. i'm just aiming to do one time a day. i wanted to pump in my office but my new office at TD, well, the walls are glass. -_-

here's our little guy - he's getting better at opening both eyes and staying awake for longer stretches. he's also always making these super serious faces.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

baby jonah seems that baby jonah decided that he had had enough of this pregnancy too! here is the labor and delivery story:

i woke up early saturday morning around 6am with intense lower back and lower abdominal pain on my right side. it didn't feel like normal pregnancy pains, so i had an inkling it might be labor but i had also been having a lot of braxton hicks so didn't believe it was real at first. SH massaged my back for an hour and i was able to fall back asleep for a while. i woke up around 9am and felt much better - the pain had subsided for the most part - but then i started experiencing contractions. i tried timing them but they weren't consistent. 5 minutes apart, then 7, then 9, then 12, then back down to 7, etc. and they never lasted more than several seconds. i ate breakfast and tried to ride them out for a bit in case they were fake, but at around 10:30am they still hadn't gone away and they were getting painful, so i decided to call my OB just in case. she said to go the hospital so she can be sure it isn't real labor. i took a shower, grabbed the hospital bag, and SH and i went to hackensack hospital at around 11:30am.

as soon as i got there, i got hooked up to an IV. they said my urine test showed i was a little dehydrated, and dehydration can cause contractions so they were trying to get more fluids in me. since i was still early (36 weeks, 6 days) they were trying to avoid labor if possible. at my OB appointment two days before, my OB was concerned because i had low levels of amniotic fluid. she told me to drink as much water as possible, so i had been guzzling water as much as i could but apparently, to my surprise, i was still a little dehydrated. while on the IV the resident checked my dilation and said i was barely dilated. after about two hours on the IV, they waited to see if my contractions calmed down. if they did, i'd go back home. but the contractions actually got way worse right after finishing the IV, and when the resident came back to check on me, i had dilated to 1-2cm. the nurse called my doctor who then said in light of the stronger contractions, she wanted to get the baby out. SH and i looked at each other like o_O. i guess we both knew it was a possibility that i'd have the baby that day, but since i had had a false alarm before, we were thinking it might just be another one.

the hospital staff then started prepping for delivery. since it was a saturday, my OB wasn't working. we had to wait for her to come, as well as the other OB staff on call. the OB nurse on call came in and introduced herself. she then asked if i already have a baby, so i told her lana was born at hackensack almost 3 years ago. she says, "i knew you looked familiar!" turns out, she was my nurse for lana too! i'm usually really good with faces but i guess when you're confronted with l&d that's the last thing your brain remembers. she was seriously the best - so warm, friendly, comforting, supportive. so she starts preparing, and at one point she called my OB to find out where she was. OB said "i'll be there in 5 minutes." but 15 minutes later, she still hadn't arrived. when she finally got there, she said "i got a ticket!!" i felt so bad. she said the cop was a jerk and gave her a ticket even though she has MD plates and said she had an emergency c-section to get to. ?!?! she said he said "yeah yeah i'm sure you do, i hear that all the time." Well maybe you hear that all the time because it's true, because you're a cop in hackensack which has one of the biggest hospitals in the area! ugh. it's nearing the end of the month isn't it? someone's gotz quotas to fill...

anyway, so i got wheeled into the OR at around 5ish. everything went well. i spoke with the anesthesiologist beforehand and told him i have a high tolerance to anesthesia and that i had major teeth clenching/chattering with the last c-section, so he said he'd give me extra drugs and something to help with the clenching. this time, i wore my hockey mouthguard during the surgery to prevent the jaw pain but i didn't need it. my teeth were fine and there was no clenching/chattering so i was really grateful to the anesthesiologist for that. with lana i had a sore jaw for 3 days afterwards, and it seriously sucked.

jonah hajun (하준) choe was born at 5:56pm on saturday, 6/21/14. he weighed 6 pounds 13.3 oz and was 19.25 inches long (although according to the pediatrician at his 1 week visit, he's really 20.25 - he said the hospital staff don't really stretch the babies out to find their true length). they were right all along - he IS a big boy. he was born at almost 7 pounds even though he was 3 weeks early! i can't imagine how big he would've been had i gone to the scheduled c-section at the 39 week mark - maybe close to 9 pounds! the nurse said since he's early there's a possibility he'd come out looking a little limp, but he came out screaming his lungs out and looked healthy. he went to the regular nursery at first, but then his breathing got a bit shallow and fast so they sent him to the NICU just to be safe and monitor him. he got a little extra oxygen and was put in an incubator to keep his body warm. i was sad that he couldn't come to my room with me and just hearing "NICU" made me nervous, but the nurses and doctors assured me that he would be totally fine and that it was just the typical assistance that's given to babies who are slightly early but need help with transitioning to the outside world. they originally said he'd come to the normal nursery by tuesday but the doctor said sometimes his resting heartrate would drop for a few seconds here and there, so they decided it doesn't hurt to keep him in NICU and keep monitoring his heartrate while he's at the hospital. so jonah ended up staying in NICU the whole time we were at the hospital. i went down there for every feeding except for the two in the middle of the night so i could get some sleep. the NICU nurses are seriously so so awesome. it's not easy to have a baby and then not be with him constantly, but i felt so much better and at ease after meeting the NICU nurses and seeing how lovingly they cared for jonah. i definitely want to send something to them as a thank you gift - nurses out there, what's a good gift? home-baked cookies? haha.

after the c-section, i went to the recovery room. you don't get moved up to the regular postpartum room until some of the anesthesia wears off and you can move your legs. just an hour after he was born, jonah nursed like a champ, like lana. he nursed for a full hour! while jonah was nursing, there was a bit of a commotion in the down-there area - apparently, i had some excessive bleeding and passed a couple big blood clots so the doctors were concerned for a bit, but after i got put on some meds to accelerate contractions, they said everything started to look normal. the next day my OB said i lost a liter of blood and was really anemic - my hemoglobin count was really low. i believed it because that whole day i felt really weak, confused and generally just out of it, and on sunday night i almost fainted. i loaded up on steak while at the hospital to get more iron and i also got put on iron pills.

jonah and i came home wednesday afternoon. we went to the pediatrician for his 1 week appointment on friday (technically, he was 6 days old). our peds said he spoke to the neonatologist at hackensack and got all the info about him being in NICU. after examining him, he said he won't even treat jonah like a preterm baby because he looks perfect. :) he weighed in at 6 lbs 12oz so he had already gained back the weight that he lost after being born. he is eating, sleeping, peeing and pooing well, though much to our dismay his days and nights seem to be a bit mixed up. lana is doing pretty well too. she loves her baby brother and always wants to help which is cute but annoying haha. she really misses/is jealous for my attention though, which is so sad. i try to give her as much attention as i can but it's so hard between feeding/taking care of jonah, trying to get in the naps i desperately need and dealing with my own body's recovery. she's also definitely shown moments of acting out - she does things that she knows are wrong to get our attention (like drawing with crayons on our staircase...). but overall i think she's adjusting as well as any almost-3 year old could when faced with the situation of having their world flipped upside down, haha. we are also surviving because my mom is doing everything for us. she is cooking amazing food (and oh, my appetite is back and raging - hormones are such a scary thing), taking care of lana, cleaning when the nanny's not around (our nanny comes every day for 3-4 hours), etc etc. i love my mom!

the big question i had before having the baby was whether i'd experience pelvic pain afterwards. it's hard to tell - i'm still on percocet and motrin round-the-clock, so we'll see when i stop taking them. but for now, i don't really feel the pelvic pain. maybe it's because it's gone, or maybe it's there but i just don't notice it because of the pain meds + the c-section pain is overshadowing it. we'll see. we are so thankful and praise God for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby, and thanks to everyone for all your support and prayers during the pregnancy. having a boy is sooo different (the circumcision almost made SH cry - i left the room entirely) but it's so wonderful. can't wait for everyone to meet him!! :D

Sunday, June 8, 2014

35 weeks. one month to go // the rangers might induce labor

today marks 35 weeks. as of yesterday, exactly one month to go till 7/7/14, and as of tomorrow, exactly 4 weeks to go. i talked to my OB who recommended i stop working soon since i told her that it's getting really hard to sit through a work day (even though i work mostly from the comfort of my new recliner, which i bought a few weeks ago and which is awesomeness). so my last day of work is this coming friday, 6/13 and i'll be on short term disability for three weeks before the c-section date. if you're in the area and want to hang out, come over! i'll be home in my pjs rocking the beached whale look and getting angry watching homeowners complain on hgtv that $200,000 is too expensive for a 4br house.

some other things to note:

-- upon a friend's recommendation, i got a temporary handicap parking placard. it has made life so much easier. i try not to go out too much, but sometimes a girl needs some air (or ice cream, or both). and the parking placard makes going somewhere less challenging. anyone want to go to garden state plaza?! i feel like i need to use it there at least once, just to take advantage of it! not that i can walk around the mall. anyone want to go to garden state plaza and have a spare wheelchair? -_-

-- i had an OB appointment on friday. i think there's something wrong with the scale at the doctor's office, but it said i was 125 (when two weeks ago it said 127?). so i'm now about +10-12 pounds. baby's head is down, and doc said everything's looking good.

-- my uncle lives in an apartment complex that has a pool so my mom and i took lana yesterday. when i went into the pool, it was the first time in maybe almost three months i didn't feel some sort of pelvic pain. it was amazing to get some of the pressure off my back, feet and belly and feel weightless. even afterwards i felt less pain for a while.

-- i still go to the chiropractor 1-2x a week. he has a wellness center, so whenever i go, i get chiropractic care, 15 minutes of massage therapy, 15 minutes of physical therapy and acupuncture. it's a great practice (dr. eugene lee in edgewater, if anyone wants to check it out). sometimes it's hard to realize the difference it's making right away, but i definitely notice it when i don't go for several days. also, i've noticed that the acupuncture in particular has made a big difference for my legs. with lana, i used to get charley horses all the time - i'd wake up screaming with golf ball sized cramps in my calves until sh massaged them away. this time around, i've only gotten one charley horse so far. i notice after going to the chiro that my legs are less crampy feeling and more relaxed. just a tip for my prego friends out there, esp. if you find yourself experiencing a lot of leg pain. it might be helpful for you.

-- we're slowly continuing to prep for baby boy's arrival. just in case he comes early, i've started packing my hospital bag. (in it, a hockey mouthguard to use during the c-section. with lana, i had such bad clenching/chattering that my jaw hurt for a couple days afterwards.) i'm buying a cosleeper from a friend to use for the first few months. we bought some diapers (it's been a nice couple months of diaperlessness while it lasted). i bought this cart from ikea to use as a diaper/clothes/etc. caddy for baby:

it's actually a kitchen cart, but i saw this pic and others on various baby blogs and thought it'd be perfect to use to corral all the baby stuff while baby stays in our room. once he graduates to a crib in his own room, it can be used for books/toys for lana. it's funny though, how little we're prepping for this second baby compared to lana. i haven't bought a single article of clothing for him! it's really true that non-first kids get shafted a bit. -_- i mean, we'll love him just as much, i think...

-- now that the end is sort of in sight, i'm starting to really want certain things and i CAN'T WAIT for this pregnancy to be over so i can get back to them. things i miss (in no particular order): 1. my normal body, 2. my normal clothes (oh cinched waist dresses how i miss you), 3. being able to move without pain, 4. BEER/WINE, 5. gorging on sushi (i already have a date with fellow prego Kay to do this soon after the babies are out, husbands optional).

in other news, the rangers may seriously induce labor. i was definitely in some pain after last night's (utterly disappointing) game because it seems i forget i can't really move and i jump up whenever we score or almost score. -_- how awesome would it be if i could say "hey baby boy, the year you were born, the rangers won the cup." sigh.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

33 weeks. false alarm.

today marks 33 weeks. c-section date is 6 weeks away, but we had a bit of a scary false alarm today. since yesterday evening, i started feeling tightening in my belly that was uncomfortable. i knew they weren't real contractions, but they were really unpleasant and accompanied by back pain that sort of felt like back labor. i figured i should just wait it out a little bit to see how i felt, because if they were real, it'd eventually become obvious in the form of more regular and increasingly intense contractions. if they weren't real and were just braxton hicks, they'd eventually go away. i was also exhausted so i wanted to get some rest. so i went to bed, but i ended up waking up every 30 min to 2 hours all night - the contractions kept waking me up. and i think stello didn't like them either because he kept moving every time they happened, which kept me up even more. at some point during the night they also started getting a little painful. i tried to get more sleep but at around 6:45am i gave up and called my OB. she wanted to err on the side of caution so she told me to go to the hospital.

we went to the hospital at around 7:30. they hooked me up to the monitors to check for contractions and also did an FFN test which apparently is some sort of indicator as to whether you're likely to go into preterm labor. the FFN test came back negative, and the monitor picked up a couple mild contractions but otherwise the nurse said it seemed more like the uterus was just doing practice "exercises." i talked to my OB afterwards and she said it's not real labor and everything looks fine, so i should just go home and rest. i was so freaked out that i'd be giving birth so early, so thank jesus it was a false alarm. as much as i joke that i want the baby out, no one wants to go into preterm labor. but now it seems another thing has been added to this already-full pregnancy plate of mine because on top of the pelvic pain, these fake contractions are pretty exhausting. all day the top of my belly tightens and cramps and there doesn't seem to be anything i can do to make them go away. if anyone has any tips or has any stories of similar experiences, i'd greatly appreciate it - they're driving me mad! the back pain is a little better but it comes and goes (which is why i really thought i was going into labor). it's a good thing stello is my second - if he were my first, i'm pretty sure he'd be an only child with how hard this pregnancy is. makes me really feel for moms who carry multiples or have way worse complications than the ones i'm experiencing. i guess it's not an easy task, this business of making people.

with this new development i wonder how much longer i can work. my OB said she would sign my short term disability form any time...i'm going to try to last as long as possible esp. since i'm basically working from home every day now, but i do feel like i'm going to get to a point soon where even sitting and working at the computer will get really hard. jesus please let these next 6 weeks go by fast!

last OB appointment was this past friday. i've gained 11 pounds now. baby looks good, but doc said i could drink more water because she wants to see more amniotic fluid.

hubs said maybe we should get the hospital bag packed now, just to have it ready. i wonder if baby will come early because of these fake contractions? not sure if there's any correlation, but it just feels like my body is already getting ready. i just realized i haven't posted a bump picture in so long. just take my word for it, i'm huge!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

31 weeks.

today marks 31 weeks. exactly 8 weeks to go till 7/7/14. i am starting to wonder if there is much more to write on this blog because i sound like a broken record about my pelvic pain. but i guess a part of the reason i like to write is to keep records for myself (i'm so glad i blogged when i was pregnant with lana, bc i don't remember a thing) and also just in case it proves to be helpful for other pregnant mama friends.

some things to note from the past two weeks:

- OB said i passed my glucose test. i basically eat sugar like it's the only food group that exists so this is a huge relief. my appetite was getting pretty good but the past few weeks, it's gotten pretty bad again. i'm back to not wanting rice or most normal foods. dinner tonight was cereal (waffle crisp, to be exact) and a banana. in the past 3 weeks, i gained 1.5 pounds. i am now at +8.5 pounds total.
- we went to my 30 week ultrasound. stello is still big. doc said he looks perfect, so we are so thankful for that. he is wayyyy more active than lana was in the belly (and lana was pretty active herself). this scares me. i am pretty sure he will be a hyperactive child.
- lana is potty trained as of a couple months ago, but this means she wakes up in the middle of the night to go pee, then insists on sleeping in our bed the rest of the night. tips from parents with 2+ kids on getting your first to sleep alone, please! we can't help her waking up to pee, so that's fine, but we need to try to get her to fall back asleep in her room afterwards, with minimal help from us. we can't keep doing this when stello's here. keep in mind lana is utterly not sleep-trained - she doesn't fall asleep alone either. but now that she's almost 3, i'm hoping we can reason with her (read: bribe) so that she'll sleep alone. we're not expecting miracles - but even if she can fall asleep half the time on her own that'd be a huge help.

and now back to the main theme of my pregnancy - the pelvic pain. i've been going to the chiropractor for a while just to help with general back/neck pain, and he recently hired a PT to join his practice so i've seen him twice now. he has me doing various stretches and exercises to try to strengthen the muscles in my pelvis/back/thighs to support the pelvis. i hope it helps but to be honest, i'm skeptical as to how effective it will really be bc of the fact that this pain is rapidly getting worse. today has been terrible - i couldn't get out of bed or really walk this morning, and usually i'm much better in the mornings and am worse at night bc i'm fatigued by the end of the day. the pain was also just soreness/achiness and now it's becoming a lot sharper and harder to deal with. i think my days of going into the office, even the 1-2 days a week i do now, are numbered. i've also gotten to a point where i can't sleep well on my side - i think the position makes the pelvic pain worse. problem is, when you're in this later stage of pregnancy, you can't really sleep on your back anymore either. a friend suggested trying a foam wedge so i'm going to see if that helps. i'm constantly googling and researching ways to manage this pain, but you know, i don't know if there's much i can do other than having the baby. i really hope the next 8 weeks pass quickly, but if this pain keeps getting worse, i think by the end i will be on bedrest. i think i'd go crazy so i really hope that's not the case. i am not good at staying still. i get restless very very quickly. but i am trying to not think about it for now and take it a day at a time.

today was mother's day, and honestly, i keep forgetting that i'm a beneficiary of this holiday. bc i just think of my own mom. we would be an absolute MESS without her right now! she is basically doing everything for us these days, esp. as i become more immobile and less useful. i sat on the couch about 10 hours today watching tv and playing on my phone. the hubs brought me snacks and flowers from whole foods. the rangers won for me, so that helped a bit too. lana's gift for me was a painting…

…on her face. i was on the computer for literally 2 minutes and then this happens. -_-

happy mother's day to all the mommies out there. it is seriously the craziest but best job in the world. one thing i keep thinking about these days is how oblivious we were to what our moms did for us when we were kids. i mean, it never once occurred to me that it's hard to raise three kids, clean the house, cook for the whole family, drive us all to violin/piano/hockey/friends' houses/etc., break up fights and maintain some sort of peace in the house, keep us relatively clean and healthy, etc. etc. etc. the list just goes on and on. it's overwhelming, if you think about it. but i took it for granted. i mean, that's just what she did, so, that's cool, i guess. but as i get older, i realize more and more how unbelievable an advantage it is in life to have moms (and dads) who pour their lives out for you in this way, who make you feel secure and loved, who give you the tools to be prepared for life. sometimes i feel like a fake mom in comparison, but i hope that i will rely on God to be a good mom to lana and stello (who is still nameless, btw).

EIGHT MORE WEEKS. 56 days. (and bc of pregnancy brain, i literally whipped out the calculator to do 8x7. don't judge.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

29 weeks.

today marks 29 weeks. i think i forgot to post last week. lana is all better now, thank goodness. my pelvic situation (never thought i'd have a "situation" with my pelvis but that's the deal right now) - it is gradually getting worse. it doesn't seem to have much chance of getting better, so i just need to endure till stello comes. i went to the OB last week and she recommended that i keep physical activity, including commuting, to a minimum. what she said (and i've noticed) is that there's a threshold. if i pass that threshold, the pain flares up and it lasts for hours. so i need to keep my activity to a minimum to stay under that line. the problem is that line keeps moving lower and lower. i talked to my boss last week, told her what the doc said, and said i think i'll try to come in 1-2 days a week when i have meetings and then work from home the other days and she agreed that makes sense. she is so understanding, i am so so grateful. this past week i worked from home mon, thurs and fri. 

i took the glucose test last OB appt - hopefully i pass that despite the fact that i eat ungodly amounts of sugar on a daily basis. my appetite (for normal food) hasn't been great again the past two weeks, and it seems that whenever that's the case my appetite for junk and sweets goes up. i also gained 3 pounds in the past month! so i am now +7 pounds. 

doc and i also talked about c-section date. unless stello comes earlier, i will go in to deliver him on 7/7/14 which is a nice birthday. so exactly 10 weeks left to get him out. i know i'm just trading one hardship for another when i wish this pain to end and for the baby to come out, but since he has to come out eventually anyway...i'm really so over this pelvic pain. it's been really rough but i'm so thankful that my mom is here, job is understanding, SH is doing everything, lana is a pretty easy i'm just trying to not get too depressed about the pain and my lack of mobility. the result is a lot of time watching TV, playing on my phone and googling stupid things, eating ice cream and sewing. -_- this past week, i finished my first quilt (mini size) and sewed nursing clips for friends w newborns. i just realized i had posted a while ago about spring cleaning/organizing. yeah well that's not really going to happen the way i had planned. poor daddy is going to have to do most of it with me barking orders at him. :(

in related news, if the rangers don't beat the flyers i might go into a rage that will induce early labor so they better win game 6. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

27 weeks: NG :(

i'm 27 weeks today. i think today marks the beginning of the third trimester. it's been a rough week. tues night, lana got sick and none of us got sleep. i had to leave early wed morning for a work conference in toronto and i felt terrible leaving her. i heard from sh that she was getting worse and worse. so he took her to the doctor who said she has pneumonia. i couldn't believe it. i've never had and don't know much about it so it sounds so scary. poor sh and my mom had to take care of a very sick kid without me (and she often gets upset when she's sick and i'm not around). i got back fri afternoon and was so glad to be back to see my baby. pneumonia is seriously the worst. even when lana's sick, she's generally pretty happy and plays well. i'd never seen her like this. i got home fri and she was in and out of sleep and so lethargic. from that point on, till we went to bed, she never fully woke up. she was so sleep-deprived and energy-less it was so sad. she's finally playing a little today now that the antibiotics have kicked in, and the fever is gone (she hit 105 on fri!!) but her lungs still sound terrible and congested and she barely eats. hope my baby gets better soon. and unfortunately, sh caught lana's cold so he's not feeling too hot now either. we thought we were getting through this terrible winter relatively unscathed...spoke too soon.

my pelvic issue is getting worse. i think i'm going to have to talk to my boss soon about working from home most days. i feel terrible about it but i don't think i have much choice at this point, since regular activity like walking and moving around is getting difficult. i'm starting to feel really exasperated with this pregnancy. the next 13 weeks need to go quickly. i know it's no easier with a newborn but this constant pain is starting to wear on me. i'm praying that the pain will go away as soon as stello is born. no bump pic bc i am lying on the couch and have no desire to get up. but i am large. and in charge (not really). a big thanks to everyone who's been checking in on me and praying for us (esp. the past few days with lana being sick). my posts are becoming more and more debbie downer. :( hopefully next week's post will be a little better. 

i should actually mention that the week before last (for which i didn't put up a post) lana's uncle andy got married. and lana was a great flower girl! she even walked down the aisle herself which we never thought would happen. the below pic is a side-by-side comparison of her walking down the aisle in july for uncle ernie's wedding (left) and just a week or so ago for uncle andy's wedding (right). 8 months makes a big difference when it's 1/4 of your life! :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

25 weeks.

i was 25 weeks pregnant yesterday. this post is going to be shorter than usual because i am not feeling so hot. i think i complained a couple weeks ago about feeling pain in my pelvic area. well this past week the pain, which was more localized right under the belly (in the pubic bone area), started radiating out towards the hips (where legs meet torso) and even down the thighs. it also got more intense. i went to the OB on friday and she said i have "pubis symphysis diastasis"…or something like that. essentially, when your body gets ready to have a baby, it releases extra hormones so that the ligaments loosen and the pelvic bones separate to make room for the baby to come out. in some lucky women, the hormones go into overdrive prematurely. they're not sure why but they think it may have something to do with the size/position of the baby (and they've been saying from the beginning that the baby is big). i also think i'm carrying this baby lower than i was carrying lana. anyway, so basically the two sides of my pelvic bones have already separated even though i have 15 weeks to go (and when i don't even need them to separate since i'm having a c-section -__-). the OB said there isn't much we can do since i can't take any real painkillers while pregnant. she said "don't walk or stand much." um, ok. she said if it gets super serious the only real options are either steroid injections, which are obviously not recommended during pregnancy, or bedrest. i'd go crazy on bedrest. generally, mornings are better, but by evening, i am in a lot of pain and the pain spreads to even my tailbone and butt. it's been pretty rough the past few days, so prayers would be appreciated! not sure how i'm going to last 15 weeks like this. the other really hard part is i'm so new at my job, and i hate to already be missing work. everyone is so understanding and so awesome, but i still feel so bad. i'm hoping it is just a phase right now and that it'll start hurting less really soon.

bump (is killing me)!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

24 weeks. spring! just kidding.

today i am 24 weeks pregnant. i am getting tired. really tired. so i will be employing bullet point lists more and more. by week 35 i expect i will not be writing anything coherent at all. it'll be something like:
- ice cream.
- beached whale.
- get out.

this week's highlights:
- i am still eating pretty well - i'm getting less and less picky, but still no pork or chicken. i did eat 5 guys on fri night though and it was pretty dang good. i don't think i'm eating quite as much as i normally do (when not pregnant) but at least there's steady improvement.

- my dessert eating is out of control. i should probably scale back but i have zero desire to have self-control in that area.

- i went to the OB this past friday and i finally broke the pre-pregnancy weight barrier! i am now +2 pounds. but the OB was like, your baby's big! so the baby is over a pound and you've gained less than a pound. -_- it kind of boggles my mind that my babies end up big because of how little i eat throughout my pregnancies. lana was 7 lbs 11 oz and she was almost a week early, and i ate even less during that pregnancy than this one. i guess it's genetic? and with this one being a boy i'm scared that he'll be even bigger.

- breathing this past week has not been very good. may be time to make another appointment with my pulmonary doc, but as i've been using my inhaler as needed, i'm a little skeptical about what they can do for me. my concern is that as i get bigger and baby pushes up more and more, i feel like the breathing will only get worse.

- even though i've only gained 2 pounds, my belly is getting really big, and i think it's way bigger than it was at this point with lana. i should do a side-by-side pic comparison...someday. the back pain has started and i'm starting to feel myself waddle. i'm really scared about the fact that i still have 16 weeks to go...i am bracing myself to hear "omg are you pregnant with twins??" near the end of this pregnancy.

- my dad is coming this friday!

- they say spring is here but other than yesterday, it don't feel like it yet. but nevertheless, spring cleaning has started in the choe household. i've decided to break it up into manageable chunks by focusing on one room/area every week or two - that way we should be done by summer! -_- i love organizing though, so despite the fact that my body is not being very cooperative and spring cleaning always means running up and down our steep flight of stairs over and over, i'm excited to clear out the crap (there's so much crap!) and get this house organized, clean and ready for stello. this week's room is lana's. i've pulled out all her clothes from 0-1yrs and divided them up into three piles: 1) garbage, 2) donation and 3) lend to friends. the 1-2yrs clothing is divided up by age in stackable bins in her closet. there's a separate bin filled with clothing/blankets/etc. that we can reuse for stello (aka are not screaming hot pink). it also helps when grandmama is here to help with all this.

i still want to do a deep clean to get all the dust out of lana's room, but since it's getting cold again this week (UGH) and i don't want to open the windows when it's 35 degrees out, that'll probably (hopefully, maybe) happen next weekend.

BUMP. this poor t-shirt should be retired.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

23 weeks

sunday marked 23 weeks. funemployment officially ended this past week for me, sad to say. but my first week at the new job was really good, if not, eye-opening. it was basically a lot of "whoa, this place is so different from a law firm!" going on in my head. it makes me realize how conditioned (brainwashed) i was the past four years working at a law firm. some key points that i wanted to mention (in no particular order, though i suspect it will be clear which ones are more important to me): 
- no gmail. :( :( :( :( :( 
- the floor clears out by 5:30. i was asked by random people why i was still here at 6:30. i mean, the night is young at 6:30! 
- i was put on a project, and when i asked the compliance person what the timing was, he chuckled and said "just keep it on your radar." ??? does. not. compute. 
- i don't have a secretary anymore. there's an admin in our department but the poor guy supports 30 people so no more "please print this for me thx" emails. i know, boo hoo. leave me alone. it's very annoying when you have to print dozens of documents and figure out where one ends and the next begins!  
- every friday is casual day. i came in last friday and noticed it wasn't just jeans day, it was a legit casual day. i mean, people in t-shirts and sneakers. i'm so excited! not that i have anything to wear. i hate maternity clothes. so much. 
- the corporate lingo is so new to me. thank goodness i have HR guru jane cha to help me figure it out. but orientation is called "onboarding" and conferences are called "offsites" and all these other confusing words i've never really heard of? 
- my office has a glass wall. no more naps, random stretching/yoga and changing clothes in the secrecy of my office. :( i'm guessing this also means i won't be able to pump here, so that's kind of sucky. but i think the pumping room is across the hall so i'll have to check it out (that is, if i even end up pumping - with lana, i lasted 3 days...). 
- I. DON'T. HAVE. TO BILL. i keep wanting to write down the time i spent on things and then catch myself with a stupid grin on my face because I DON'T HAVE TO! 
- i'm the CLIENT. :D we had an internal meeting to discuss a project, and we barely even looked at the document outside counsel prepared. while on the conf call, my boss mouthed to me "i didn't even read this." afterwards, she said "ok we'll call outside counsel next week, tell them to tell us what's next." it's so weird to not be the one who's drafting all these docs...and so awesome. 
- the business folks want answers quickly and, as my coworker said, "you don't have time to be perfect." that sounds a little scary, coming from a firm where you are expected to be perfect, find the answers and anticipate the client's follow-up questions and have those answers as well. i suspect it involves a lot of getting context and disclaimer/cautious language so the business folks don't run off and say "the lawyer said i can do this!" -_-
i'm sure these revelations will keep happening for a while before i settle in, but overall things have been good. learning a lot about the company, the business, refreshing my memory about capital markets deals since it's been a while since i've worked on them. 
another big event to happen this week is lana is potty training. after hawaii, grandmama park has revved up the potty training efforts and i think lana is almost trained now. she still has accidents here and there (usually we just don't get to the potty fast enough) but the past two nights, she didn't pee once in her diaper and woke up in the middle of the night to go. we even went to church diaperless this past sunday. we tried to put on a diaper but she refused, so we went to the potty once upon arriving at church and once before leaving to go home, and she was completely accident-free the whole time. i am SO relieved to get even 3-4 months of diaper freedom before the onslaught of 12-20 diapers a day starts again for stello. i've noticed this past week that i'm eating a lot better. i'm still picky, but a little less so, and i actually want to eat sometimes. and my appetite for desserts/sweets has skyrocketed. -_- my next OB appointment is wednesday and i suspect i am definitely in the positive weight gain range now, so that's good. 
no bump pic bc i am typing this up on my phone...but i am feeling huge. i can't believe I am this big already - i have 17 weeks to go!!! the worst right now is that pain right below the belly, where the legs meet the torso. i don't remember that well but i do feel like this sorta pain is happening earlier than it did with lana. -_- is this baby gonna come out ginormous? 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

21.5 weeks - hawaii recap!

this past sunday marked 21 weeks into the pregnancy (confirmed at the ultrasound this morning - more about that later). we just got back yesterday from hawaii and had a really awesome time. a little recap:

we flew direct from newark to honolulu, and then flew a small plane from honolulu to kauai. it felt like forever. lana was so good the whole way and barely even whined, which is pretty impressive for a 2.5 yr old since even i was whining by the end of the trip. from the time we stepped out of our house to the time we checked into the hotel was 19 hours. it probably could've taken 17 but you know how it is in hawaii - everything's on island time. like why does it take an hour to get a rental car when there is barely a line?? -_-

we spent 5 nights in princeville at the westin resort. i was worried bc they say princeville rains a lot in the winter, but it stayed away for the most part and only rained at night when we were sleeping. the weather was awesome and the high was around 80 degrees every day. kauai was just what i needed - away from people/civilization, quiet (except for the damn chickens), tranquil, warm, and an amazing view of both the mountains and the ocean. i haven't been on a vacation like this since our honeymoon - one where you're supposed to just sit back and do nothing. i didn't realize how much i missed it till i did it again. i obviously love all the trips i've been on since our honeymoon but this time i really needed a vacation where we had no plans and spent the whole day just vegging around the resort. the icing on the cake was not having a job! out of habit i kept checking my phone for emails and then remembered oh wait, i have no work emails to check. :D

i had a list of things that you're supposed to do on kauai, but we ended up not doing most of them bc 1) we were too lazy to and 2) being in the car a lot felt like such a waste of precious time. everyone says waimea canyon is a must-see, but it is also a 4 hour round trip from princeville. lana was also not a very happy camper in the car (for some reason, she's so good in our car but hates cars that aren't ours) so it wasn't worth the stress. the most we did was drive to kapaa twice for food, which was about a 30 min ride from princeville.

after 5 nights, we flew back to honolulu. we stayed 4 nights (was supposed to be 3, but ended up staying another night because of the "storm" that was supposed to hit the east coast) in waikiki. it was a nice constrast from the seclusion of kauai - it was city but not too city, and had a fun hustle and bustle to it. again, we barely left waikiki. i had the usual list of places to go to like pearl harbor, dole plantation, north shore, etc. but like in kauai, we were content to just stay close to the hotel, walk around waikiki and swim at the pool. lana hates (more like, is terrified of) sand so we didn't go to the beach other than to just look at it. the food was so good - i'm going to miss all the fresh pineapple and the desserts in particular (lapperts, leonards, waiola shave ice, the coconut pudding, halo-halo, etc. etc.). did i tell you how much i ate on this trip? it's like i never had a problem eating this whole pregnancy. i think it's safe to say i hit my pre-pregnancy weight and then some. i doubt it'll be the same now that i'm home but it was nice to be able to eat well for a week and a half. i also felt really great overall - maybe it was bc i was outside getting vitamin D (usually i'm really deficient), breathing good air, getting some exercise. maybe it's a sign i need to move to hawaii. -_- unfortunately, there are probably all of 2 corporate law openings there.

the trip was not really a babymoon since sh and i didn't get much alone time, but bc my mom was there we got help with lana and didn't feel the need to really get away on our own. we had so much fun seeing lana have a blast swimming and seeing new things. my mom also had a great time (maybe the best out of all of us haha). so we're home now and i am freezing. it's not even really that cold today but i really feel like it's taking me some time to adjust back to these temperatures. i'm also super jetlagged but luckily i have 5 more days before i start my new job. this morning, i went to my 20 week ultrasound. the doctor confirmed my due date of 7/13 - she said the baby is on the big side (about 3 days ahead of schedule), but it's not enough to change my due date to 7/6. she also confirmed the last ultrasound tech's hunch that the baby is a boy. :) sh was convinced since before i even got pregnant that #2 would be a girl, so we even had a girl named picked out and everything (stella). but after the 12 week ultrasound tech said she was pretty sure the baby was a boy, we just started calling him...stello. but we have no idea what his real name is going to be - why are boy names so much harder to pick out than girl names? i could seriously name the next five (hypothetical) baby girls in 10 minutes but i cannot be 100% sure of one boy name.

below is the baby's profile pic:

and my 21.5 week bump pic (and looks like someone snuck into the pic just as i took it):

Monday, February 24, 2014

aloha! 20 weeks - exactly halfway! (or maybe one week over)

i'm posting this week from kauai! it felt like the longest trip ever. if you add up total travel time (from the time the cab picked us up to take us to the airport, to the time we arrived at our hotel) it took 18 hours. 11 hour direct flight to honolulu, then a transfer to kauai (45 min plane ride) and then grabbing a rental car and driving another 45 minutes to our hotel on the north shore (and stopping at a supermarket on the way for groceries). everything took longer than expected bc of island time. every time i complained sh would remind me to chill my east coast personality. -_- it was pretty brutal, and traveling with a kid makes everything harder, but lana was SUCH a champ the whole way. she barely cried, was in a great mood and was pretty easy to entertain with snacks, play-doh, kindle and tv. what shocked me was for an 11 hour flight, we didn't get one free meal. they came around twice with options to purchase meals but the second time they ran out of meals so all we could buy was snack boxes. we were all starving by the end of the flight, and it's ok for adults to be hungry but i felt so bad to lana who was also clearly really hungry. all these extra fees and charges by airlines are really starting to annoy me, but it's a completely different thing to not even offer real meals to purchase. 

but what's important is we are here! it is so unbelievably breathtaking. we went to maui and big island for our honeymoon but kauai is very different. it has that small quaint feel of big island (kona) but with a more ethereal quality to it. it's hard to describe. after a rough day traveling, it was so nice today to veg, eat an awesome sunday brunch (i ate a lot!), hang out by the pool, take a nap, and finish off the evening with cheap chinese food and the most amazing ice cream (lappert's - i got "kauai pie" which is kona coffee ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge, coconut flakes, macadamia nuts and vanilla cake crunch). i had second thoughts about this trip bc of the flight time but i'm so glad we did it. it is so relaxing and i feel myself just unwinding and getting some much needed rest. and  a vacation without a blackberry happens like maybe twice in a lifetime! 

in pregnancy news, i went to the OB on friday and gained 4 pounds! i am now up to -2. 😁 i am slowly starting to eat better but the progress is just that - slow - and some days are still bad. i have my 20 week ultrasound next week. excited to see baby again and get confirmation of the sex and due date. no bump pic this week bc i look bleh and am already in bed! island laziness. hope everyone stays warm back home and the polar vortex isnt as bad as last time! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

19 weeks

this past sunday marked 19 weeks of pregnancy (or 20). pregnancy-wise, it was not that eventful (in other words, pretty good). still not much change in my eating, but i'm managing to slowly get a little more variety into my diet. my next OB appointment is friday - hopefully i'll have gained some weight. my legs have been achy and crampy, but luckily no charley horses yet (the trick is to point those toes up in the air!). i've been wearing my compression tights on and off and they are SO helpful. also, i'm still feeling a lot of pressure and strain in my lower back/hips/lower belly so i went with kay (my fellow prego) to get prenatal massages on saturday. man, i wish i were rich so i could go like...every day. it was so good. if you need a good prenatal massage, check out hoboken women's wellness (our therapist was nikki). it looks like a hole in the wall from the outside (kay said: "uh, this looks kinda scary" when we walked up to it) but inside it's quaint and cute. no frills but it has everything it needs. and i don't really care what it looks like as long as it's clean and the massage is good. it's definitely not cheap but i think once in a while, it's worth it, esp. during pregnancy.

other than that, we had our gajillionth snowstorm of the winter. thank the lord i'm in my i-gave-notice-so-who-cares stage, so no one cares that i'm not coming into the office. i've just been working from home most days, but i don't have any real work. it's just a lot of organizing, transitioning and wrapping things up. my last day is tomorrow. it still feels a little surreal. i'll definitely miss some of the awesome coworkers i have but i'm excited to leave the law firm behind and work less hours. and hopefully under less stress.

the biggest news of this past week is my mom came on sunday! in the 3 days she's been here, she's already put lana to sleep a few times, bought me lunch, cooked dinner twice and taken me to costco (and paid for it), all while crazy jetlagged. now i'm not sure what i did without her the past six months! -_- lana has been ecstatic. once we told her grandma was coming, she had been anticipating her arrival so much. she'd say during dinner "grandma's going to sit here next to me" or "i'm going to hawaii with grandma" or "grandma and i are gonna go to the playground." when she finally came, she went NUTS. it was so heartwarming. also, side note, when my mom came through the front door, she ran right past me and hugged lana. -_-

three more days till hawaii!! i am so ready to go, along with my trusty compression tights and footrest (you tall people will never ever know). the packing is stressing me out a bit though. kids require so much crap.

bump pic - i think it looks smaller than last week! i DID eat (some) dinner right before the pic last week...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

18 weeks

oops, i just realized i forgot to write my 17 weeks post last sunday. the weeks all blend together...

i'm 18 weeks today (or 19?). some highlights (and lowlights) of the past two weeks:

- i got to go to jean georges this past tuesday because we have a very generous vendor at work (though i guess what's a couple thousand compared to the amount of business we give him), and i probably ate more in that one meal than i have my entire pregnancy. maybe i have food aversions to everything except fine dining, haha. luckily most of the meal consisted of seafood and there was only one meat course which i avoided. the waiter looked at me with suspicious eyes (how dare she not lick every plate clean at JG!) and asked if everything was ok, so i had to assure him it was me, not the food.

- i almost fainted on thursday. this happened to me with lana too. i talked to the OB and she said it could be a number of things, including anemia (though my last blood test showed ok iron levels), the asthma, low blood sugar...since then i've been feeling light-headed and dizzy on and off. she told me to get some otc iron pills and keep eating. i hate iron pills! they are so constipating. and the eating, well it's the same old. although bc i hate iron pills so much, i decided to get iron by eating galbi on fri night. out of all the types of meat, i'm least bothered by beef. i actually ate pretty well but now as i write this I cannot imagine eating galbi. -_- every day is so different in terms of what i can stomach. the lightheadedness really makes me feel off. i hope it goes away soon.

- the belly pains have started. my skin feels like it's being stretched to the max, and i get random sharp pains throughout my torso and hips. time for more massages.

- baby is moving like crazy. he seems to hates it when i sleep in fetal (har har) position bc that's when he moves especially a lot.

- the big news of the past two weeks is i got a new job! praise the lord! i gave notice at my current job and my last day will be 2/20. we leave for hawaii soon after that and i start work in early march. this is an answer to a prayer i've been praying, well, since maybe week two at the law firm haha. but more recently, i was really worried about how we'd make it work with two kids and my job. thankfully, the hours at the new job will be much better and more regular so hopefully juggling everything and attaining the whole elusive "work/life balance" will be a lot more doable. i'm still really nervous about doing it all with two kids but i guess you just do it somehow. -_- i'll be vp of legal at TD securities. I am really excited to go inhouse and leave behind billable hours forever.

- my mom is coming next week! yippee!!

ok here is the first bump picture. i am a selfie newbie - where do you hold the phone? how do you position your body to fit it all in the pic? selfies may require more skill than meets the eye. i made SH take all the bump pics for me when i was pregnant w lana. why do i feel and look so huge when i'm not even eating anything?? -_-

Sunday, January 26, 2014

16 weeks (or 17?)

this week, the cold really kicked my ass. i posted this on fb before but i really don't think i've ever felt this cold in my entire life. as my friends commented, it's probably a combination of 1) an unseasonably cold winter, 2) age and 3) pregnancy. it took me 2 hours to thaw after work on friday. i came home, ate dinner, and then ran upstairs and changed into sweats and sat in bed under 3 blankets. hawaii cannot come fast enough. it's sad because i used to be very good with the cold - maybe from years of playing hockey in cold ice rinks. but alas, my age is catching up with me.

i went to my OB for a checkup on friday and she said the results of my NT ultrasound came back. she said all the test results look great. she also mentioned that the OB at the hospital thinks my due date is actually 7/6, not 7/13 because the baby is "huge." -_- the next ultrasound at 20 weeks will confirm the exact due date. so i might actually be 17 weeks today, not 16. we'll found out in 4 weeks. the other thing that happened at the OB checkup is i got yelled at because i lost 3 pounds from my last appointment 4 weeks ago (although, it was up 2 pounds from my appointment with the pulmonary doctor 2 weeks ago). it's so hard to eat regular meals still, but i'm just trying to find things that i can stomach that have some nutrition. tonight's dinner was plain greek yogurt with granola and 고구마 (korean yams). but the big development this past week was i ate meat. i actually ate beef for dinner yesterday, and i didn't love it, but i also didn't spit it out. so that's progress. i ate thinly sliced beef with lettuce wraps and masked the flavor of the beef with gallons of sesame oil. works for lana, worked for me. :) hopefully i can start eating regularly soon. pork and chicken are still completely out of the question though. the thought of them still makes me want to gag.

my mom is coming on 2/16. i am so so so excited, and while i of course want her here so i can hang out with her, i must admit that i am also really excited that she can cook for us. having to cook on a daily basis for your family really takes the fun out of cooking, esp. when you are cooking food you can't even eat! sundays are my cooking days (and it feels like i'm cooking for hours and hours). i do my grocery shopping, cook a couple meals and also prep another meal so the cooking time is quick on the weekday i actually make the food.

today i cooked:
1. beef stir fry with cabbage and onions, and roasted cauliflower (for dinner tonight). the rest of the beef went into the freezer.
2. sloppy joes (dinner the next 2 nights for daddy and andy). lana will eat leftover soup that's in the fridge - i don't think she'll like sloppy joes.
and i also prepped a third meal of korean pork meatballs by chopping up all the veggies, so that on the day it's dinner, all i have to do is mix with the ground pork, tofu, eggs and breadcrumbs and fry up.

i am seriously considering hiring a korean nanny when baby #2 gets here to help with the cooking. i don't know if i can do it with working + 2 kids. if you have any tips on cooking, cleaning, juggling, balancing, tightroping...or more generally, just "how to get it done with kids and a job and not go crazy," please let me know! it's a daily struggle - one i'm glad to do and thankful for but you know, sometimes you just want to not have to pee with an audience or step on the same toy 5 times in one day.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

15 weeks (delayed...again)

sunday marked 15 weeks of pregnancy. i guess it felt like i had just blogged and so i didn't really feel like writing again on sunday. i probably shouldn't be writing this right now but mentally, i am taking a snow day (even though i am still in the office). speaking of weather, i am so confused by the news. for that last storm on jan 3, there was so much media coverage i was bracing myself for a foot. we barely got 5 inches. i didn't even KNOW there was going to be snow today until the hubs said so this morning. i felt like there was very little media coverage for this storm, and now they're saying it's going to be way worse than the last one. don't get it. is weather coverage more intense when there isn't much going on in the world? like they have nothing else to report on?

so i'm 15 weeks now. i'm feeling much better - thanks everyone for checking in with me. as much as i am having a hard time believing it, maybe i do have asthma because i've been breathing much better ever since i got the inhaler, damnit. notable things for this is moving a lot more, or at least i'm feeling it a lot more. with lana, i didn't feel her until 21 weeks. i started feeling this baby at 10 weeks! i guess it helps to know what it feels like. i'm still not eating that well - i went through a big box of apple jacks in 3 days by myself. cereal is still my #1 meal, and i'm still anti-meat. i can have beef here and there but chicken and pork are absolute no's. i also can't do most korean food, which is usually my favorite. i think i've lost about 7-8 pounds so far. the goal is to not lose anymore. the other new thing is i feel like my body is stretching out more, in preparation for the growing belly. i've been experiencing a lot of pain around my thighs and hips (where my legs meet my torso). it's not that bad, but i feel it a lot whenever i walk.

one thing we've noticed is lana has been very clingy lately. she used to run into daycare without even turning around, but now she cries every morning. is it because of baby? i've heard a few parents saying the same thing. it'd be interesting to hear more stories about whether this is true or not. i guess i was skeptical initially because i thought the baby was not really real to her, since she can't see it and it's just a bump on mommy's belly. but maybe they're smarter than we give them credit for.

in other news, my hair was driving me crazy and i chopped it off. it felt like i was carrying a dead animal around on my head.

i will get around to posting bump pictures...someday. everyone be super safe in this storm please!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

13 weeks, delayed

i want to try to post every week of my pregnancy, but this week i'm a bit late. i turned 13 weeks last sunday, but couldn't post then because i've been going through some medical issues that have been really frustrating and bewildering, and that have overshadowed the fact that i entered my second trimester.

since last thursday, i've been having trouble breathing. at first, it was more of an annoyance than a real issue, so i didn't think much of it. pregnancy makes you feel out of breath sometimes, so i thought it was normal. but friday i woke up and it was the same thing, so i went to my doctor. all the tests came back fine (EKG and bloodwork), so he wasn't sure what the issue was. he gave me a couple reasons that could be the cause (such as reflux and anemia) but he suggested i see a pulmonary specialist just in case. but then saturday i woke up and felt pretty good. i said to sh, "i feel better!" then ate a piece of toast. within 10 minutes, i felt a major blockage in my sternum/chest area and the breathing problems started up again. i self-diagnosed at that point and decided the breathing issue must be related to reflux, since it got worse right after i ate. the breathing and the chest pain/reflux got worse so i barely ate all weekend. sunday night it got so bad that we decided to go to the ER, but it was much of the same thing. all the tests came back fine, and the ER doc said based on what i said, it seems like it might be caused by reflux. he told me to keep taking zantac and to follow up with my doctor if i don't feel better in a week or so. i was so frustrated because as much as i kind of knew it probably wouldn't happen, i wanted some immediate relief. it is really exhausting to have to consciously suck in air every minute or so, only to still feel unsatisfied and like you didn't take a deep breath. side note, i am really scared of my ER bill, even with insurance. -_-

i emailed work on monday morning to tell them what happened, and stayed home to rest. i also made an appointment with a GI doctor and luckily they had a spot open the same day. (by this point, i had seen 3 doctors in 4 days, and i got weighed each time. my weight went 111, 110, 109.) the GI doctor said reflux can cause breathing problems, and that pregnancy definitely exacerbates reflux, but she didn't seem convinced that reflux would cause breathing problems consistently for 5 days. she said if the breathing isn't better in 2 days, go see a pulmonary specialist. my stomach/reflux issues were a bit better by monday so i was finally able to eat a little more.

the breathing was pretty much the same the rest of monday and tuesday so i scheduled an appointment with a pulmonary specialist on thursday. wednesday i felt a little better, and this morning, i felt a lot better, but i still went to the pulmonary specialist. i gave him the same summary that i gave the other doctors. he asked a lot of questions, then asked me to take a breath test. that was exhausting. it's just breathing into a tube over and over really hard. i was so light-headed by the end of it. the tech sent the report over to the doctor, and i went to his office and sat down. he said, "so. you have...asthma." !!! what!? i said "what??" he told me it appears that i've had it for some time, and it's very mild, but that it must have been dormant for my entire life since i've never experienced breathing problems before. he asked me if i'm active. i told him i was going once a week to the gym until i got pregnant because any strenuous activity made me nauseous. he asked me whether i was active as a kid, and i said i played a lot of ice hockey. he said ice hockey players have the best lungs and that it must've temporarily "cured" my asthma - in that my lungs were in such good shape as a kid that the asthma never had a chance to surface. however, he said it seems that there was basically a perfect storm of events in the recent weeks that led to the asthma showing itself for the first time - working a lot, stress, pregnancy, the cold weather, not exercising, etc. etc. i used to feel bad for those kids in elementary school who walked around with inhalers and were wheezing by the end of gym class. now that's me! :( he gave me an inhaler to use and told me to check in with him in two weeks. he said he's pretty confident this is the reason for my breathing troubles, but that there's always a chance it's not. i guess i'm glad to know the likely reason for my past week of breathing woes, but i was definitely blindsided by this find. i told my mom and after lamenting it for a while, she said, "so glad you guys played hockey. lana must play hockey!" i mean, duh.

in other news, we went to our first ultrasound yesterday. the doctor said everything looks good. we're so thankful for our healthy growing baby. i also will give said baby much hell in his/her teenage years about the pregnancy i went through for him/her. this pregnancy has been so much harder than the first. now that i'm in my second trimester, i hope to eat more normally soon. the nausea has definitely gotten better. maybe i'll start posting bump pictures next week...