Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Books, advice and my doc

Early on in my pregnancy, I refused to read almost anything related to having a baby. I did pick up the book "You: Having a Baby," but I didn't look at any information that wasn't about the first trimester. I was so afraid of letting myself get excited, because what if ...

After 12 weeks, I became cautiously optimistic -- and those of you who know me well know that means I wasn't completely pessimistic -- and started reading a little more. Now, at nearly 19 weeks, I'm reading lots of stuff. After my last visit to the library, I came home with "Full of Life; Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant" by Nancy O'Dell (She was/is host of "Access Hollywood," so you know she's an "expert.") and "I'm Pregnant! A week-by-week guide from conception to birth" by Lesley Regan, MD.

"Full of Life" does have some helpful tips -- like make sure you take make up to the hospital for the post-birth photos (eye roll) -- but it also tells me I must sleep on my left side. Which my doctor and nurse both told me isn't strictly neccessary, and older moms have told me they never did it, were never told to do it, and their babies are now grown and having babies of their own.

At first I thought this book could be pretty helpful or at least insightful, but it mostly reiterates things I've already heard or read. And some things are definitely based on the author being a "celebrity." Buy pregnancy Spanx? Really? Did any of you moms feel the need to wear Spanx while pregnant?

As for "I'm Pregnant" I've only flipped through it, mostly looking at the amazing 3-D images of the fetus in the womb. Although I did read some of the birthing information to see if it would freak me out. Amazingly, it didn't. I plan to look at this book more thoroughly.

What I've found with some of these baby advice books -- especially the ones not written by doctors -- is that they act as if your doctor is trying to keep information from you. My nurse told me it's best to sleep on my side (either side) but not to get too worried if I wake up on my back.

The fact is my doctor -- and her nurses -- are pretty laid back about pregnancy, not to the point of apathy, but they aren't fear mongers, either. They present facts. They tell me what is recommended and why they think those recommendations are valuable -- or not. For instance, ever hear a pregnant woman shouldn't eat cold cuts? Did you know that advice was put in books years ago and isn't necessarily true of today? My doctor told me that some recommendations are based on outdated information, and as long as I'm getting my sandwich meat from a reliable source, it will be fine. (Thank goodness I can still eat Jimmy John's!)

So, when I read something that sounds a little iffy or when I read something that makes me go, "Holy crap! I've been/not been doing that!" I give my doctor's office a call or make a note to ask at my next appointment. Because one thing I've read over and over is that my stress and anxiety can effect Baby.

And we all know how relaxed and de-stressed I am.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Skip this post

Today is not a good day. I don't feel good. Everything aches. Everything. My neck and head hurt. My shoulders and back feel stiff. I'm hungry and I just ate. Yesterday wasn't much better. I was bored but didn't have the energy or motivation to do much, and my emotions were kind of all over the place. The S.O. doesn't really get the whole pregnancy mood swing thing and forgets to be a little more sensitive.

Then this morning, on Facebook, my cousin mentioned how my mom used to send his kids Christmas ornaments each year around this time. Which made me feel kind of like a jerk for forgetting that lots of other people miss Mom.

Yes, I know it's the pregnancy. And, yes, I know it will pass. But ugh. I really don't like the aches and the big ol' pity party I feel like having right this minute.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tiny dancer

Last night, the S.O. and I watched the movie "The Good, The Bad, The Weird" on Netflix Instant. It's a Korean gunfighter film. Yes, that's right: Korean gunfighters. During the climactic chase scene, Baby was going nuts, moving all over the place. It felt like I had a little tap dancer in my belly. I like to think Baby is going to be just like Daddy (who is half Korean) and Mommy (who loves Asian action films).

On the other hand, maybe Baby didn't like the shouting and the shooting and was trying to protest. But because Baby sure seems to move around more when I'm happy, I'm going to go with the idea that Baby LOVED this movie as much as Mommy and Daddy did.

Check out the trailer:

As I said, it's on Netflix. And it is a ton of fun.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week 18: Lobster baby and hoping for help

Apparently, I fell off the Fit Pregnancy newsletter mailing list, because they didn't send me my weekly update this past Tuesday. With Thanksgiving preparations -- and my baby brain -- it didn't occur to me until now that I haven't posted anything about Week 18. And it's almost over!

After a little searching, I found the information they normally send me. (Do they really need to frustrate the pregnant lady?)

So, this week Baby is about the size of "a lobster tail" (OK, what the hell is up with these comparisons, Fit Pregnancy?) and "may be able to detect a glow if you shine bright lights at your belly."

As for my changing body, they're spot on when they tell me, "You may have aches and pains in your legs, tailbone, and other muscles."

But my favorite part of the week 18 information is this bit:
Now is a good time to talk to your partner about how your house will be managed once the baby comes. For the first few weeks, until you establish a new routine with your new baby, you'll be too occupied to cook meals, take care of pets, open the mail, pick up the phone, or do anything but breastfeed, soothe the baby, and sleep. We hope your partner is up to the challenge. If not, prepare to move your mother or another relative in for a time. Also consider hiring a postpartum doula or baby nurse to help out.
They "hope your partner is up to the challenge." I think I need to do more than hope, especially considering my mother can't move in with us, and I can't think of any other relative who could. And we certainly don't have the luxury of hiring someone.

I actually feel pretty confident about the S.O.'s abilities to deal with a little one. He spent quite a bit of time entertaining our friend's almost-2-year-old son on Thanksgiving while she finished preparations and I put my feet up. It was really endearing to watch him play with the little boy.

At least I know he'll be helpful in a couple years.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nobody told me

Nobody told me there would be no room for food! Nausea in the first trimester? Sure, I knew about that. Heartburn in the third trimester? Yep, heard all about that one. But not having enough room to eat a normal meal during the second trimester? Come on, people! Nobody told me about that.

Sure, yesterday was all about overindulging, but I didn't. Not really, because as soon as my tummy started to get a little full, I felt stuffed -- more stuffed than the Thanksgiving bird! And it wasn't just yesterday's holiday meal. Earlier in the week, a sandwich filled my stomach beyond capacity. Even my normal breakfast of plain yogurt and granola feels like I ate too much. So eating for two is definitely out of the question.

Why didn't I know that shortly after getting my normal appetite back, I wouldn't be able to actually eat? Even looking through some of the books I've picked up, that seems to be something that happens later, when the bump gets much bigger.

It's not fair. Most people get to be miserable Thanksgiving day because they went back for seconds (or thirds) or drank too much beer. My tummy was overfull with just one normal-sized plate of food. Is Baby really taking up that much space all ready?

What else aren't people telling me?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have many, many things to be thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kickin' it

For some reason I didn't sleep well -- or much -- last night. I felt like I couldn't turn off my brain, even though the things going through my head weren't worrisome. So I don't think it was thoughts keeping me awake. I had trouble getting comfortable. My hips hurt and my nose kept running. It was probably the combination of all those keeping me awake.

I'm pretty sure Baby was awake with me, because as I lay there about 2:30 a.m., I felt a tiny little flutter in my lower abdomen. This was the first time I felt something that I'm pretty sure was Baby moving around. I would have written the flutter off as gas, but it happened twice more in exactly the same spot. And I've heard that first-time moms-to-be sometimes mistake baby's movements for gas.

I have to admit -- as much as I said I wasn't going to let things I read get to me -- that I was a little concerned over not feeling movement from Baby. So I was pretty happy to feel those little flutters, even if it was at 2:30 in the morning.

Does that mean Baby is going to be up at that time once he or she actually joins us out here in the real world? Should I start preparing for 2 a.m. feedings? Well, it seems I'm awake anyway.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bonding with the bump

Because I suffered a miscarriage in the past and because I am considered "advanced maternal age," a lot of things about this pregnancy have freaked me out. I spent the first trimester in an almost constant state of worry ("almost constant" because nausea has a way of pushing other thoughts out of your head).

I know my anxiety isn't good for the baby and have been able to find ways to calm my fears and start to look ahead.

Recently, I read this article from WebMD about Bonding with Baby Before Birth. I found this part interesting:
Studies have shown that babies -- who begin hearing by the 18th week of pregnancy -- prefer classical music (Mozart and Vivaldi are good standbys), or any music that mimics the mother's heart rate of 60 beats per minute (lullabies and New Age music, for example). Hard rock is not the way to go here, especially since the amniotic fluid amplifies the sound.
I was always kind of skeptical about people playing classical music for their unborn babies, but now that I'm a mom-to-be, I think I'll have to try it. I know that listening to classical and/or New Age music helps me sleep when my mind doesn't want to turn off for the night.

Maybe I shouldn't be playing guitar or singing for baby -- I'm not that talented. And I had no idea the amniotic fluid amplifies the sound.

The article also tells me it's a good idea to touch my belly, either resting my hands quietly or gently massaging. I've done that. Something I haven't done that the article suggests is talking to Baby.
Talk to the baby. Say goodnight before you go to bed, good morning when you wake up, and talk to it throughout the day. "Newborns know their mom's voice after birth," (Marilee Hartling) says. "That's the voice they will turn to."
So, let me give it a try:

Good morning, Baby. I hope you slept well, because -- and this isn't a criticism -- you are really starting to make my hips hurt and make it hard for Mommy to sleep. But you know, I'm sure you're going to keep me awake a lot more than that and sooner than it seems. And I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait to meet you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Gratitude List

My good friend Lisa over at Grandma's Briefs has a lovely post today, and I am going to follow her lead and create a gratitude list.

It's a good idea to remind ourselves of the blessings we have. With that in mind here are some of the things I am grateful for right now:
  • Normal test results
  • Friends who cook delicious meals and entertain me with goofy cover tunes
  • Friends who read my blog and listen to my rants, worries, joys, fears, etc.
  • My family -- Though far flung, they are close to my heart
  • My dog who is a constant source of entertainment
  • Space heaters and fingerless gloves
  • Decaf coffee
  • Internet shopping and free shipping
  • My expanding belly
  • My new food processor
  • Stretchy pants
  • Tylenol PM
  • PreNatal Gummy Vitamins
  • Body pillows and Sqush pillows
  • The S.O. who took me on the vacation of a lifetime, takes care of me daily, lets me cry on his shoulder, allows me to take long afternoon naps and only complains a little when I don't fix dinner or clean the house
  • And all the things that I normally take for granted, like indoor plumbing, modern medicine, a roof over my head and access to safe, healthy food and water

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Funny

It's Sunday. And while I'm always fairly lazy, I'm especially lazy on the weekends. Still, I'm not about to give up on NaBloPoMo this late in the game.

So in lieu of an actual post, I'm linking to this: Regarding Advanced Maternal Age. It's funny and totally fits with the theme of my site.

Here's a sample:
Male doctors, especially, are behind the times on this relatively recent older-mom trend. If your OB/GYN used to be your mom’s pediatrician, smokes a cigar while performing your exam, or insists that pap smears are “nothing but hoodoo,” it’s time to find a new practitioner–one who’s a little more “with it.”
The entire Let's Panic site is pretty darn funny -- whether or not you're pregnant or a parent.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

When negative is positive

Last week, at my doctor's appointment, I had blood drawn for a Quad Screen. It's a simple blood test that screens for:
  • Problems in the development of the fetus's brain and spinal cord, called open neural tube defects. The quad marker screen can predict approximately 75-80% of open neural tube defects.
  • Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality. The quad marker screen can predict approximately 75% of Down syndrome cases in women under age 35 and over 80% of Down syndrome cases in women age 35 years and older.
The good news is my Quad Screen came back normal. And, WebMD tells me:
"In over 98% of pregnancies, normal quad marker screen results predict healthy babies and births without major complications."
Those sound like pretty good odds to me. The Web site does go on to tell me "there are no prenatal tests that can guarantee your baby and pregnancy will be completely healthy or without complications."

But, you know, they have to cover their WebMD butts, so they're going to be Negative Nancies. I, on the other hand, am going to focus on the positive.

Friday, November 19, 2010


We haven't done too much nesting in anticipation of the baby, but we did make one major purchase. We bought "The Original Christmas Classics; 7 Holiday Favorites." The DVD set includes Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, Little Drummer Boy and Cricket on the Hearth.

Truth be told, we probably would have bought this collection anyway (we had a coupon!), but now we have a real reason to add to our DVD collection that includes quite a few Disney cartoons -- from "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" to Pixar classics like "Up" and "Wall-E."

We also recently purchased a set of three Muppet movies. You know, for the kid.

We haven't looked at baby furniture at all or really even decided for sure which room will be the nursery. We figure we've got plenty of time for that. But a sale on some of the all-time-best Christmas specials? That's important business.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I wish ...

The other night, as I walked through my local Barnes & Noble, I saw this "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" book. It is a Record-A-Story book.*
From the Web site: "Children will delight in the sound of a loved one's voice when they open this book. A recordable dedication page lets them know this is a story just for them. Each time they turn the page, Christmas music plays, and they hear the familiar voice of a loved one reading the classic holiday story."

Because I was technically working -- my job for the Children's Literacy Center takes place in the bookstore -- I wasn't really supposed to be shopping and don't normally when working. But this book stopped me in my tracks, and I had to pick it up and look at it.

I wish I had had this book three years ago. I wish I could have had my mom read this book for my as-yet-unexpected child. I know there are other ways for me to teach my child about his or her grandmother, but I wish I had something like this so "Grandma Weezy" could read a story to my baby.

I think a book like this is a wonderful way for a distant grandparent or aunt, uncle, parent (absent for whatever reason) to share time with a loved child.

And yes, I was almost crying right in the middle of the stupid Barnes & Noble. And yes, I'm almost crying right now as I type this.

*Other books in this vein include "Guess How Much I Miss You" and "Elmo Together at Heart."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are parents stupid?

Seriously, I want to know. Because Parenting.com posted this story about 10 violent video games to avoid. The slide show starts out saying, "These are the worst video games for kids this season--be sure they're not on your list."

Click through the slide show and you'll find that all but one of the games is rated M for Mature. The lone exception is rated T for Teen. So, not one of these video games is actually supposed to be for kids.

I'm not a parent yet, so I don't know. Do parents not pay attention to ratings? Are parents buying these obviously violent video games for their kids then acting all shocked when a zombie gets bashed with a baseball ball covered in nails?

It seems to me the game's cover would be a dead giveaway. (Pun intended.) Look at it. Dude's got a chainsaw on a stick.

Do these same parents take their kids to R-rated movies then wonder why little Susie is dropping F-bombs at pre-school? I really want to know.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 17: More weird comparisons

It's time for my weekly update from Fit Pregnancy. As has become the norm in these updates, they compare the baby growing inside me to something I would never want growing inside me. This week it's soap!
"Your baby is about as wide as your palm, about six inches tall, and weighs about four ounces—about as much as a bar of soap."
As for myself, according to Fit Pregnancy: "You're looking pregnant, but not so much that it's difficult to put your socks on. You may even get that pregnancy glow, a radiance that comes from extra blood flow to your skin."

Frankly, I think I just look kind of fat. And tired. I don't think I have enough of a baby bump for people to think I'm pregnant. Imagine my horror when I imagine people will just think I've let myself go.

I'm so vain.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Yesterday morning, at 5 a.m., the dog decided we needed some practice being parents. I don't know what she got into but it gave her diarrhea. She was scratching frantically at the door to be let out. Naturally, we didn't quite make it. So there was that to clean up.

Then, she threw up on the floor, too. So there was more to clean up. I'm quite happy to report that the S.O. stepped up and cleaned the messes while the sleepy pregnant lady dealt with a dog that didn't want to go back to bed.

Of course, just a few hours later she was napping quietly in the sun.

I know it's not the same as dealing with a sick baby ... or a hungry baby ... or a sick, hungry baby. But I think she wanted to ease us into it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baby Bump update

The photo on the left is the first Baby Bump photo I posted slightly less than a month ago. The one on the right is what Baby Bump looks like today.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ewww! Really?

As I've probably mentioned before, I think there's a lot of crazy crap out there about pregnancy, so I avoid reading too much. I try to look for specific things -- nutrition tips, exercise info, etc. Still, I picked up "The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy" and have enjoyed the straight-forward way things are presented in it.

Today, though, I open to the page entitled "Body Language: Common Pregnancy Peculiarities." Some of the "peculiarities" I've heard about. Others, not so much. "Just for fun," the book says, "check those that apply then flip to Chapter 6 to find out how to get rid of some of them, make others more tolerable, or at least find sympathy and the humor in them."

I'm not going to share the entire list here. You really don't want to know some of them. I have been lucky to not experience some of these -- especially the ickier ones. But I imagine the joy of pregnancy will bless me with many as the months pass.

I have experienced nausea, a change in my sense of balance, exhaustion, dizziness, forgetfulness, food aversions, frequent urination, hip aches, itching and a stuff nose. I have not experienced -- and hope not to -- bleeding gums,  spider veins, pregnancy mask, skin tags, darkening of my freckles or some of the other things they list that I'd be embarrassed to admit.

And please don't tell me I definitely will experience those things. Ignorance is bliss.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I shop

Despite some of the advice I've read, I went ahead and bought some maternity clothes. Yes, I know it's early. But the coat I was looking at was more than 50 percent off and wasn't going to be available long. So I ordered it. It's very cute and not totally maternity looking, meaning I may be able to use it for more than one season. And I ordered some maternity leggings, which are great for now, and because they have a very stretchy waistband and aren't too tight, they'll work when I get bigger and will probably be perfect for right after the baby is born. So, I just got a couple things to help me get through until the bump really starts popping out and I have wear real, honest-to-goodness maternity pants.

I've also been looking at some maternity tops, mostly t-shirts, because that's the kind of person I am. Here are a few of my favorites.

From ThinkGeek.com
And from CafePress.com:

Yes, I'm a geek and a dork and not all that fashionable. But I love weird and/or goofy t-shirts, and becoming a mom -- with all the responsibilities that entails -- isn't going to change my dorkiness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Heartbeat and more

I saw my doctor today for my 16-week appointment. I love my doctor. She makes me feel great. She's excited about my weight gain. I have to keep reminding myself that it's OK -- no, necessary -- to gain that weight. So many years of obsessing about my weight are hard to overcome.

I had blood drawn today. We're checking my thyroid level again and checking risk factors for some other stuff, including Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. The scariest part of that test is they are quite often wrong. So, despite the nurse telling me not to freak out about a positive result, you know I will.

I have another ultrasound coming up in the next couple of weeks. We'll have that one with the experts in advanced maternal age, so they should be able to tell some of that kind of stuff, too.

Now, on the upside -- and not at all scary -- we got to hear the baby's heartbeat again. It seems a lot louder now, and the heart rate is 150. Which according to the wives' tales, means I'm carrying a girl. On the other hand, according to the wives' tales, other things I'm experiencing point to a boy. For instance, the headaches, dry hands and dad-to-be packing on weight (don't tell him I told you) mean Nubbin is a boy.

A few years ago, I did a story for Pikes Peak Parent about these methods of determining baby's sex and was told by experts that these "tests" don't stand the test of time. Looking back at that story, I see that some of the things mentioned in the story contradict methods I've read of recenty. One thing the experts I talked to agreed on though, was that the mother's gut feeling about the baby's sex  is often correct. We'll see.

I'm off to hold a ring on a string over my belly now to see if it's a boy or a girl.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You're getting sleepy ...

In case you didn't notice, I'm a worrier. I worry about lots of stuff. I even worry about how much I worry. (Heck, it's right there in the subtitle of this blog.) I get anxious. I get anxious that I'm too anxious. It's a vicious cycle. But I recently realized that I worry to protect myself. Somewhere in my twisted logic, I have decided that when I worry and things turn out OK, it's because I worried so much. The trick is for me to learn to accept that I'm a worrier and that just who I am.

All this came from an appointment I had yesterday. As I mentioned a while back, a friend gave me a hypnosis CD and a certificate for a session with the therapist. I finally got around to making the appointment and saw her yesterday. It was enlightening. We spent about half the session discussing what I wanted to get out of it and the other half actually doing some hypnosis. We decided that the worrying wasn't really a problem because it actually works for me. Like I said before, it may be twisted logic, but worrying protects me, so why change that.

Instead, we decided that something I needed to work on was "living in the moment," being "present" in the here and now rather than always looking at what comes next. So, instead of thinking about all the possible problems I could have during the remainder of my pregnancy, all the things that could go wrong during childbirth, all the issues that the child of an advanced-maternal-age mother could have, I need to just enjoy the pregnancy and live in the moment.

There was a time in my life I would have written that -- and hypnosis -- off as psychobabble and a bunch of hooey, but at this point in my life, I know I need to do something different -- for my own sanity. So, after a discussion about how hypnosis isn't like what you see on TV -- she can't make you act like a chicken, there's no swinging pocket watch, you don't get sleepy, very sleepy -- I got comfortable and prepared for the session.

You have to be open to hypnosis. If you don't believe in it, it won't work. As she explained it, some people are very receptive and go deep into their subconscious. Most people, however, kind of drift in and out. Which is what happened to me.

Whatever the explanation, calming music combined with her soothing voice and peaceful images definitely made me feel more relaxed -- a feeling that lasted throughout the rest of the day. She even recorded the session so I can listen to it again and again.

Being pregnant at 42 is pretty damn scary, but I'm grateful to find a way to relax (even just a little) about it all. I know being less anxious is better for me and better for the baby. But up until yesterday I couldn't think of a way to calm my nerves. I'll still worry. But I'm not going to worry so much about worrying.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 16: Gerbil baby

I totally skipped the Week 15 update. One reason was that I was off on my babymoon and not really thinking about exactly what was going on in there. I figure Baby was happy getting sunshine and fresh pineapple. Another reason was that the update from Fit Pregnancy was kind of generic and not worth sharing.

Week 16, on the other hand, seems a little more exciting. My e-mail newsletter from Fit Pregnancy tells me:
"Your baby weighs about 2.8 ounces (79 grams) and is about 4 1/2 inches from crown to rump—roughly the size of a small gerbil. At any time, you will begin to feel fetal movement as your baby's bones harden, and she starts a big growth spurt. Your baby has plenty of room: At this point, she could fit in the palm of your hand. This is a great time to be a fetus. At any given time, she might be playing with the umbilical cord (which she's now able to grasp), putting her thumb in her mouth, or kicking at the amniotic sac."
I'm not going to get too anxious if I don't feel the movements of a 2.8 ounce gerbil inside me. It's probably already shown some movement that I just attributed to gas. There's plenty of that -- something nobody told me about before I got pregnant.

At the library this weekend, I picked up "The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy." Other than, "You: Having a Baby," it's the only pregnancy guide I've read. It's filled with advice from real moms and not overloaded with horror stories. The best part of the book is that it says there's no such thing as a normal pregnancy. That doesn't stop me from comparing myself to the women in the book and worrying when things aren't happening that the book says may be happening.

I'm working on not worrying about worrying so much. Worrying is what I do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, the final day

Our final day in Hawaii turned out to be the sunniest. Lucky for us, our flight wasn't until 6 p.m., so we had time to soak up some sun by the pool before check out.
We spent the afternoon doing a little tourist shopping at a place called Hilo Hattie. After that, we drove around a little and spent some time at a beach, watching the paddle boarders.

From there we had to return our rental car and head to the airport. The trip home is never as exciting or fun as the trip to a destination, is it?
Well, that's it for my Aloha Babymoon. I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures and seeing our photographs. Tomorrow, it's back to the reality of living my day-to-day life and preparing to become a first-time mom in my 40s.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, part 6

We didn't plan much for this particular day. The S.O. was still kind of wiped out from his surfing experience the previous day (cue "Wipe Out" music). We checked the map and drove to see Wailua Falls. We'd thought there would be a bit of a hike to reach the falls, but there was an overlook at the side of the road. The falls were very pretty but didn't take up the time we thought they would.From the falls we drove southwest to the Kauai Coffee visitor's center. We took a walking tour of the area and sampled some coffee (decaf for me, thank you).
The coffee plantation was built on the site of an old sugar cane plantation. All the coffee they roast and sell is grown right there.After lunch and consulting the map again, we went to check out the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. We walked around the gardens a little while but decided to skip the actual tour. It was $20 per person for a self-guided walking tour, and at the risk of appearing really cheap, that seemed a bit pricey. We took some pictures of a little lizard and a huge spider.

We went back to Old Koloa Town because the S.O. decided I was right and he should have a Poipu Beach surf t-shirt. We also bought some lotion and shaving soap from the Island Soap and Candle Works, as well as some dog treats for Ripley. After sharing a shave ice (not "shaved" mind you -- it was "shave ice" everywhere we went) we headed back to the resort to watch the rain from our porch.

We had a nice dinner at a restaurant in a nearby hotel. For dessert, I had star fruit sorbet with coconut ginger biscotti. Yum.

Before bed we found a teeny tiny gecko in our room. Not wanting to wake to a gecko in bed with us, we caught him in a cup and put him out on the porch. (I don't think he was trying to sell us insurance. But he was really cute.)
We went to bed feeling a little sad that this day was our last full day in Hawaii.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, part 5

A mostly uneventful -- but very relaxing morning -- led to a drive to Poipu Beach, where the S.O. took surfing lessons. I didn't think the Nubbin would appreciate all the falling and sucking in of salt water surfing seems to involve, so I sat in the sun and took pictures.

As you can see, the S.O. had a great time but was exhausted at the end of the lesson. It was a good reason to just lay in the sun for a while longer. It was a very pretty beach.

After leaving the beach, we walked through some of the Old Koloa Town shops and had ice cream (taking photos can really build up an appetite, you know).

As we were leaving to do a little more shopping, the S.O. asked the girl at the counter if she knew of a good noodle place. She directed us to a little restaurant in Lihue. It was a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, and there were just two other people when we entered. By the time we'd finished our meal, a long line of customers was waiting for seats.

Even though not a lot happened on this day -- granted a Colorado boy surfing is a pretty big deal -- it was one of the best days of the vacation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, part 4

It was raining when we woke up on this day. By the time we finished our breakfast and headed out for coffee, it had stopped, leaving everything clean and shiny. We went to see Opaeka'a Falls.Despite the early morning rain, the island hasn't seen a whole lot of precipitation lately, so the falls weren't nearly as impressive as we'd heard. It was still an extremely pretty view. We crossed the road to look down on the Wailua River.We spent some time walking through the shops in Old Kapa'a Town, then had a lunch of fish tacos. The sun came out while we were eating lunch, so we hurried back to the resort to change into our swimsuits and hit the beach. We spent the afternoon lounging in the sun. I took a nice long pregnant-lady nap to be ready for the luau that evening.

We went to the Smith Family Garden Luau. Yes, "Smith." But as our host explained, Smith was his great-grandfather. He came over from England, fell in love with a Hawaiian woman and married her. All of the staff and dancers were part of the family, and it really did feel like a family affair.

The evening starts with a tour of the gardens.
Next was the buffet-style dinner of pulled pork (cooked all day in a pit right there in the gardens), Teriyaki beef, fish and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We even tried poi. Which isn't awful. It just looks like wallpaper paste and tastes like nothing.

After dinner, we move to the open-air theater for the dancing. The dancers performed traditional dances from Hawaii, Polynesia, Samoa, Japan, China, New Zealand and the Philippines. It was a lot of fun.
A review on Trip Advisor called the luau "cheezy" (yes, they spelled it with a z) and said the meal was "cafeteria food." I thought it was all very entertaining and the food was really tasty. I only have two criticisms of the evening.

First, the Mai Tais were watery (according to the S.O. I didn't have any for obvious reasons). However, that's a very small criticism, as there was a bar serving beer and wine (at no extra charge) so if you didn't like the watery Mai Tai, you had another option. Plus, there was punch and soda and plenty of ice water.

The second criticism is that they wanted $20 for a copy of the picture they took when we entered the gardens. Twenty dollars for a picture of my significant other and pregnant me, standing next two pretty, skinny girls in coconut bras? I don't think so.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, part 3

Hey everybody! I hope you're not sick of hearing about my trip yet because I have more to tell you.

Our third day in Hawaii started out with a trip to a nearby farmer's market. With the clouds and looming rain, it wasn't very busy, so we were able to talk to a lot of farmers and try samples of some unusual things. We tried rambutan, a prickly fruit you break open. It has a subtly sweet flavor and looks pretty interesting.
We also tried (and bought) some Kaua’i Keshir Tea. It's made from coffee bean husks and "is low in caffeine, high in antioxidants, with a natural sweetness which comes from the coffee fruit." I haven't yet brewed any at home but plan to later today.

We even bought a slice of pie made with local mangos to have for dessert later that evening. (It was delicious!)

After returning our spoils to the condo, we headed west to Waimea, then north to Waimea Canyon. We stopped at the Waimea Canyon Lookout and Pu'u Hinahina Lookout.
Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and I have to admit it is awesome, in the true sense of the word. From there we went farther up the road to Koke'e State Park. There we visited the park's museum and had lunch at the lodge. After a short nature hike, we drove on to Kalalau Lookout, where we saw an amazing rainbow over the Na Pali Coast.
With rain rolling in, we drove on to Pu'uokila Lookout and walked a little way on the wet and muddy trail. Parts of "Jurassic Park" were filmed in this area, and it really does look quite prehistoric -- also a little treacherous.From there, we headed back east toward our condo. We made a short stop in Hanapepe to check out the town's suspension bridge. The S.O. zoomed over the bridge while I watched from the safety of the shore. Even though I had no problem looking out over the precipice at the canyon, the swinging bridge gave me a bit of vertigo (I'm pretty sure the Nubbin had something to do with that) and I only stepped out far enough to have my picture taken.

We finished up the day with a walk along the beach near our resort.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Aloha Babymoon, part 2

We woke to cloudy skies on our first full day in Kauai. But it was still warm and beautiful, so after a breakfast out on our porch, we loaded up the car and headed up the east coast of the island to the north shore.

Our first stop was the Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge and the Kilauea Point Lighthouse.We spent some time walking around, watching the birds, enjoying the view and listening to the sound of the surf. A little rain rolled in, but unlike here at home, the temperature didn't drop 20 degrees during the rain, so it was pleasant.

From there we continued up the coast, stopping at Haena Beach Park. We walked along the beach, taking pictures of the breaking waves and people watching. I found a piece of coral that was shaped exactly like a nose and being the grown-up I am, I had to make use of that perfectly shaped coral.

Before heading out, we crossed the road to check out a cave.

A little farther along, the road ends at Ke'e Beach. We hiked up to a scenic overlook. If we had brought more water, and if I weren't pregnant, we would have hiked the entire trail. As it was, the little Nubbin had something to say about me exerting myself, so we stopped to check out the view of the Na Pali coast from here, then headed back to the beach. The sun cooperated and came out for a while for us to enjoy.

We stopped for lunch in Hanalei and walked through some of the shops. In a toy and candy store, we tried some Li Hing Mui candy -- it's a salty dried plum that's quite sour and, honestly, kind of weird. Of course, the S.O. loved it and brought some home.

We picked up some local fruit -- papaya, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple and bananas -- and headed back to our condo. It was getting late, so I sat on the porch, writing in my notebook until it got too dark to see.

After our busy day, I was wiped out. We spent the rest of the evening in and went to bed early.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Every Little Bottom

I read a very sad story about diaper need today. It lead me to this Web site, Every Little Bottom.

A recent study* shows that one in three American moms have to choose between diapers and other basic needs like food. Without an adequate supply of diapers, babies are kept in wet, dirty diapers for extended period. They sometimes must wear diapers that have been cleaned out and put back on.
"Moms struggling against diaper need are more likely to miss work or school, stay home when they need to go out, or keep their babies out of daycare — which usually requires a full day's supply of disposable diapers."
The Web site, set up by Huggies, allows you to donate diapers online or through your Huggies purchases (reward points). They also have a listing of diaper banks. All this so we can help moms and babies in need.

*You can read the full Huggies Every Little Bottom Study (in PDF form) at the Web site.

My Aloha Babymoon, part 1

As promised/threatened, I present you with pictures and memories from my recent trip to Hawaii. It's been awhile since the S.O. and I had a real, honest-to-goodness vacation. This seemed to be as good a time as any.

We flew from our hometown airport to San Francisco on an early, early morning flight. Even though I haven't been having morning sickness, the flight still made me a little queasy. I think it's the smaller planes that do it. From San Francisco we flew directly into Lihue Airport on Kauai, arriving around noon, local time.

As we waited for our rental car, I snapped a picture of this rooster. I didn't know the full story of the chickens until later.

Apparently many chicken coops were destroyed during Hurricane Iniki back in 1992, freeing the birds who went on to multiply like crazy. Seriously, these feral chickens are everywhere. And while you're not supposed to feed them, the tourists do anyway. You know tourists.

Apparently, the island also has a problem with feral cats and pigs. I saw one cat and heard one early in the morning. That's always such an eerie sound -- cats can be kind of scary. But we never saw a pig. Which is probably good, because they can be quite dangerous.

Equipped with our fine rental car, we headed off to our resort -- The Outrigger at Lae Nani. It is a very nice condominium with a full kitchen and a view of the ocean. It has its own pool and a small private beach. You're probably wondering who would use the pool with the ocean right there.

Well, with dangerous riptides and high surf warnings, sometimes you want something a little safer. Still, we did get a few chances to play in the surf.

Our first day in Hawaii was mostly uneventful, we had some lunch, played on the beach and relaxed and recovered from our flight. Our real adventures began the next day, which I will cover tomorrow.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week 14: That was fast

I'm actually almost to week 15 at this point, but as I mentioned earlier, I was away from my computer during week 14.

My e-mail newsletter from Fit Pregnancy was not very informative for this week, telling me about tests I can have in the next few weeks and that I will probably have my first ultrasound (except I've already had two). I don't think they cater to older moms-to-be.

They do tell me:
"Most moms find that their nausea, mood swings, exhaustion, and other hormonally related annoyances are easing up, though symptoms may not completely disappear until after the baby is born."
That's pretty broad. You may feel better ... or not. My nausea is mostly gone -- as long as I don't allow myself to get too hungry -- but I think the mood swings and exhaustion are here for the long haul. Still, I don't think my emotions have been all that terrible, but you'd have to ask the S.O. to get a better answer. He's the one who has to live with me. I have a tendency to believe I'm always sweet.


According to Wikipedia (which everyone knows should be taken with a heaping helping of salt), a babymoon is "a period of time that parents spend bonding with a recently-born baby" and was "coined in a book 'The Year After Childbirth' by childbirth educator and author Sheila Kitzinger."

Whatever. I've heard it used more recently as describing that last romantic vacation expectant parents take before Baby comes. And that's the way I'm using it here.

When I found out I was pregnant, the S.O. and I decided to plan a trip. We figured if something bad happened, we could go and drown our sorrows with Mai Tais and surfing lessons. And if nothing bad happened, we'd get a much needed and long overdue vacation (minus the Mai Tais and surfing lessons for me).

It turns out 14 weeks is a great time to go on a vacation. I'm not so big that I couldn't do things like hike and play in the surf and I've passed the time of having nausea (although there were a few iffy moments on the airplane on the trip over).

We went to Kauai, Hawaii. It was a first for both of us, and yes, it's beautiful, and yes, we had a great time. With six days of adventure and photos, I don't want to try to cram it all into one blog post. If you're willing to indulge me, I will share photos and memories over the next few days. (November is NaBloPoMo, after all, and I should at least make the attempt.)

Aw, heck. If you're not willing to indulge me, I'm still going to post pictures and talk about my vacation. I'm pregnant and I'm going to do what I want.