I’m on the hunt for a good quality food processor…
Here’s the top three that I’m looking at for a family of 4 (pre-research): Braun, Breville, and Cuisinart. It needs to be durable and low maintenance. I don’t really care about how loud or quiet it is because my kids are typically loud and they sleep with a sound machine. A quiet motor is a nice “want” but not a necessity. Maybe that will matter to me more in 5 years.
- Reviews by People
- Healthy but Smart
- Tech Gear Lab
- Healthy Kitchen 101
- Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor: Best to Buy of 2020
- Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor: Best Affordable Food Processor
- Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini Food Processor: Best Small Food Processor
- The Breville 16-Cup Food Processor: Best High-End Food Processor
- Ninja Master Prep Blender/Food Processor: Best Values Food Processor
- Elechomes Baby Food Processor: Best for Baby Food
- Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor: Best Attachment Combo
After the stellar reviews above as well as the in depth review from Tech Gear Lab and Healthy But Smart, I am leaning toward the Breville Sous Chef. I need a large food processor for 4 people — although my kids are only 1 and 2 years old, they already eat a ton and I know this will only mean bigger appetites as they grow older. Important things for me are chopping, shredding, slicing, and cleaning. After the research, I think the Breville Sous Chef fits the bill.
2018 in Review
Bear got a new car! He’s loving his 2018 Highlander Hybrid that we’ve nicknamed “The Spaceship” — all the screens and safety features are incredible! We needed something safer and super reliable to transport our precious cargo!
On Sunday, Feb 11, we welcomed our Mini: Arden Elise Campbell. She arrived with a conehead after 27 hours of labor at 10:09pm. She was oriented OP, and I got my epidural at 4cm around 9:30am from one of my colleagues, Shiyin. The epidural was perfect — it was so nice to have to take the edge off the pain. However, because she was OP, I was still having quite a bit of back/bottom pressure from her head coming down and placing a lot of pressure on my tailbone. We tried multiple maneuvers to get her turned, but to no avail. My OB, Kim Washkowiak, came in on her day off to deliver Arden (that’s a huge deal and wonderful Around 9pm, she was 10 cm and complete…and it was time to push! After an hour of pushing an OP baby… we met our sweet Arden bug. She was 7lb 3 oz, 21 inches long, and absolutely perfect. She had a great latch, and we started breastfeeding immediately. Of course, it would take almost a week for my milk to come in. We supplemented with formula and breastfed as well as pumped to increase my milk supply. She’s been a wonderful journey so far. We’re learning new things about and us everyday.
This month was a blur! Waking every 2-3 hours in the night to feed Arden made this month fly by! There were highs and lows along my breastfeeding journey. It’s finally settled down and breastfeeding and pumping are going well. We’re still supplementing with formula so she’s getting both.
She’s 2 months old this month and already at 10lb! Bear sold his trusty 4Runner.
I forgot to update the rest of the entries…. so, follow along my Pregnancy #2 entries for the remainder of 2018!
2017 in Review
A brief year in review…
January 2017 was a stressful month for us as we were getting ready for our February wedding. I remember the calls, appointments, dress try-ons, tastings, dance lessons, etc… there was always something to do or plan.
Our wedding on February 4, 2017 went off without a hitch. It was such a wonderful day and it seemed to be a fun time had by all! We had a mini-moon to Santa Barbara right after our wedding for a couple of days.
We celebrated Ross’ bday in Mammoth with a group of friends. It had been years since both of us had snowboarded, but it was a great time for all and no one broke anything! Such a fun time and group of people!!
Ross and I dabbled in skateboarding and ukulele. We got some awesome Carver skateboards that’s supposed to simulate surfing on land — Ross is a natural and has enjoyed skateboarding with me while I take a walk around the neighborhood. The ukulele has been a musical love of mine for a while and I finally pulled the trigger to get more into it. My piano and violin background have helped in picking it up… the uke is such a happy and portable instrument!
We took our main honeymoon at the end of April to South Africa and the Maldives. Check out our itinerary here!
After we got back from our honeymoon, both Ross and I were extremely drained. We weren’t sure if it was from the jet lag or work (this had not happened to us before and we had made multiple international flights before!). Little did we know that time of conception may have been somewhere around mid-May 2017!
And the biggest news of 2017 — our pregnancy!
We had a fun trip to Seattle in July (The Mini was 8 weeks!) to wine taste (this trip was booked before we found out about the pregnancy), watch a concert (Train and some others), stay in a yurt, and SUP the waterways of Washington!
Our last big trip of the year –> the Azores! We traveled when I was 16 and 17 weeks pregnant, which was a good time! It was the last time I would surf for this pregnancy as my belly was starting to get in the way of laying on my stomach for a paddle.
We started looking at a small house remodel by adding an accessory dwelling unit to our first floor with a separate entrance. We made plans with the architect and interior decorator, however, once we got our permits submitted to the city…. we discovered they wanted a lofty fee for an accessory dwelling unit that wasn’t mandated by state law. We’re hoping this fee gets amended or better yet dropped as we have our permits for a year. So time will tell!
NYE was a busy day! I worked from 7a-5:30p and then went out to a nice 7p dinner with my bear at our first date spot Cucina Enoteca. We got home around 9ish and tried to stay up but we passed out on the couch from then until midnight! Thank goodness for DVR bc we could rewind the NY ball drop and watch it and celebrate! We opted for a new year tradition: planting one tree/plant (indoor or outdoor) each year! This year we planted three indoor palms (chamaedorea costaricana, howea forsteriana, chambeyronia macro) and one outdoor palm (from our wedding: the blue green palm — butia capitata blue).
Happy New Year!!
Android vs. iPhone
I’ve had an iPhone since it first came out in 2007. I loved it….. but now there’s so many memory things to update/upgrade… the cost of the iPhone…. it’s a lot! But most of my friends and family are iPhone users. Does that mean I should stay on iPhone? No…. and if you know me…. you’ll know that I research the crap outta everything I do or think about doing.
iPhone vs Android
LifeWire: iPhone vs Android – Nov 2017
Tom’s Guide: 10 reasons android beats iphone – Sep 2017
Tom’s Guide: Why apple beats google – Oct 2017
CNET: Personal take on switch from android to iphone – Jan 2016
Tech Advisor UK: Android vs iPHone – Aug 2017
Gotta be mobile: 14 Reasons Android is Better
Time: 5 features iphone needs to beat android – Sep 2017
Digital Trends: Android v iOS – Oct 2017
ComputerWorld: iPhone v Android – July 2017
Macworld: iPHone X vs Android’s best – Nov 2017
Business Insider: 5 ways iPhone X is catching up with Android phones – Sep 2017
The Verge: how the iPhone X compares to the best Android phones – Sep 2017
ZDNet: Why i’m now using Android and may skip iPHone 8 – Sep 2017
Techlicious: iphone v android – May 2017
Independent: iphone still playing catch up – Sep 2017
Wired: Pixel 2 v iphone 8 v samsung s8 – Oct 2017
Newsweek: Which is better, iphone or android? – Sep 2017
WCCF Tech: iPhone vs Android – Sep 2017
Google Pixel 2 vs iPhone
Popular Science review – Oct 2017
The Guardian UK review – Oct 2017
Business Insider – 1 week with GP2 – Nov 2017
Business Insider review – Oct 2017
Business insider review – Nov 2017
Washington Post review – Oct 2017
**The Verge review – Oct 2017**
The Verge price review – Oct 2017
ComputerWorld review – Oct 2017 — Podcast
ABC news Australia review – Oct 2017
Issues with the Google Pixel 2
Android Central Forum – messaging issues
Engadget – Oct 2017 – display and speaker/noise issues
Android Central – Common Pixel 2 problems
Android Authority: Pixel 2 XL issues
Digital Trends: Issues and solutions for Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
BGR: Software update for Google Pixel 2
Forbes: 5 things wrong with Google pixel 2
Google Pixel 2 vs Google Pixel 2 XL
If I did get an android, it would have to be a Google flagship phone that automatically sends out updates like the iPhone. Right now, I think the Google Pixel 2 or Google pixel 2 XL would potentially be a great buy for me. Here’s my pick: Google Pixel 2 XL.
Instead of Facetime: Google Duo
Instead of iMessage: WhatsApp
Instead of iCloud Photos: Google Photos
Instead of iCloud library/books: Google Drive, DropBox
Cell phone option instead of AT&T: Google Project Fi
Troubleshooting and Tricks for Android (helpful if prior iPhone user):
Wireless phone carriers
Ever since Apple came out with the new iOS for iPhone, it’s made my phone extremely slow and drains the battery life. Thanks Apple. This led me to consider doing a phone upgrade, but my phone isn’t that old and it works fine (I have an iPhone 6). Currently, I’m on AT&T bc it gives me the best cell signal at work. But, the more I’ve been researching…. the more I’m leaning towards T-mobile or Google Project Fi.
- AT&T vs T-Mobile: All the Things that Matter
- Comparing unlimited plans for the big 4 (AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile, Verizon)
- Why I’m Dumping AT&T for T-mobile
- Best cell phone plans for the big 4
- Google Project Fi
- One Mile at a Time: Switching from AT&T to T-mobile
- One Mile at a Time: Review of Google Project Fi
We would definitely have more opportunities and data options on T-Mobile. Question is whether it gets good signal in the places where we want to be. If T-Mobile does get a good signal, it’s a no-brainer for us to switch to T-Mobile. Google Fi is a strong contender, but I don’t know much about it and there aren’t many reviews on it… and I don’t know where the coverage will be the best for us. There’s a lot of great perks, but I think at this point we need to go with longevity and data and good customer service that’s known. Google Fi is only available for android phones so we’d have to switch from iPhone to Android. Whereas with T-mobile, we could take our existing iPhones to make the switch.
Winner = T-Mobile or Google Project Fi (uses T-mobile, Sprint cell networks)
The first day of my last period was April 25, 2017. According to my Glow app, my average period length is 6 days and it looks like there’s roughly 37 days between periods. That’s about 10 days longer than the average Jane. That last period occurred on our honey moon! We came back home on May 9. Then, I had a weeks worth of diarrhea from May 20-27 and ended up taking ciprofloxacin at that time. As June approached, I was just fatigued for a bit and so was Bear. We thought we had caught a bug or had some kind of weird travel lag from the trip. I was still surfing regularly with Ross — maybe a couple times a week. Around the summer solstice June 20, I had some light cramping. Breasts had been tender for a while, but that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary as my period approaches. In early June, we went to the Toast the Coast Wine Festival at the Del Mar Fair (June 10) and then the evening of June 20, we had burgers and beers at Encinitas Alehouse. I had a funny feeling to pee on a pregnancy stick that evening, so I did. Lo and behold it was POSITIVE! I quickly called out to Bear to make sure he got an eye on the reading to make sure I was reading it correctly. The next day, we went to the drug store and got one of those digital ones so there couldn’t be any reading errors. It said PREGNANT.
Once we found the info out, I immediately called to setup an appointment with my chosen OB/GYN. I feel lucky to have a job in anesthesia because I get to directly see the work of our surgeons and care providers so it gives me an idea of who to seek for my own care if needed. I setup an appointment with Kim Washkowiak for July 5 (1st ultrasound) and then an initial consultation on July 11. I also started researching best books to read during this time and finally chose the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
According to the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy that we’re reading, the chart states the following….
- Week 1 If the first day of your last menstrual period was: Apr 25
- Week 3 Conception likely occurred around: May 9
- Weeks 5-10 Period of greatest risk of birth defects
- Beginning of organ formation: May 30
- Major organs have formed: Jul 4
- Week 12 Risk of miscarriage decreases: Jul 18
- Week 23 Some preemies can now survive: Oct 4
- Week 40 (full term) Estimated due date: Jan 30
Mayo Clinic (2011-10-26). Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (Bestsellers) (Kindle Locations 2230-2237). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.
But according to our OB and U/S reports, we’re due February 20, 2018.
July 5, 2017
I’ve had about 2 weeks of low grade nausea. I keep wanting to eat small meals to stave off the “morning sickness” that rears its ugly head throughout the day. I’ve got some ginger candies to help. I’m also eating more plant-based meals (Veestro and Splendid Spoon) and craving grapefruit and fruits! I haven’t worked out much bc of the nausea. I’m trying to get 3x 16oz waters down in a day. Initially, I was having to pee a lot…. not just during the day but it would also wake me up in the night.
Week 18 – Sept 19-25, 2017
Recap: The nausea was the worst for me from weeks 7-13. It slowly got better. Things I did to calm the nausea: ginger chews, ginger hot water/tea, bananas, toast, crackers, pasta, hydration, rest. I found it worst during the day. During that time, I also shunned Veestro and Splendid Spoon. In fact, I could hardly tolerate any of my paleo foods that I typically eat. Crackers and carbs were my savior.
Fast forward to week 18… life is good! We just got back from a 2 week vacation to the Azores. I’m back at work and now I have Mondays off. We’ve been doing research on state disability, maternity and paternity leave, vacation days for 2018, infant day cares, pediatricians, etc. I still don’t see much of a baby bump yet, but my usual clothes are starting to feel tighter. Got my flu shot! Pregnant ladies, it’s IMPERATIVE you get your flu vaccine (not the nasal one though) — read the CDC guidelines here.
So far, we’ve found the following books helpful:
- Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.
- The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
- The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts
- Pregnancy Day by Day (terrific book if you’re into pictures)
- The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years
Week 21: Oct 10 – 16, 2017
I’m still feeling pretty energetic and able to maintain my pilates workouts. Typically, I aim for 3-4 one hour sessions/week. The ladies at Club Pilates in Del Mar are fantastic and are always offering me alternatives for new moves as I advance in my pregnancy. I’m hoping to keep this up until delivery and beyond! We’e completed two prenatal classes so far. Scripps offers a lot of classes and resources and we’re taking advantage of the learning opportunities! So far, we’ve done Getting Ready for Baby part 1 and 2. It was a great overview for absolute essentials we may need for our newborn as well as how to change a diaper, swaddle, when/how to bathe, etc. It also included an excellent session given by a pediatrician on normal/abnormal poops, diaper changes, breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines/shots, etc.
I’ve been in a rabbit hole of baby registry items/reviews and we’re slowly building our list. I’m pretty meticulous about researching anything prior to pulling a trigger on anything big (house, car, insurance, stocks, appliances, electronics, etc.). I consider a newborn to be a really BIG thing!
- Amazon items I’m considering — ongoing research, pros/cons, good reviews, word-of-mouth, not registry… just ideas
Our Amazon baby registry
- My YouTube Pregnancy playlist of helpful videos
OB Anesthesia entries from my blog:
- My thoughts on vaginal delivery vs C-section
- Pregnancy, epidurals, and birth plans
- OB anesthesia: what is an epidural and literature
- Walking labor epidurals
Week 22: Oct 17 – 23
This week, it was recommended that I only stick to the pilates 1.0 or 1.5 classes. 😦 Pilates has been great, but they’re totally right. My cardiovascular capacity needs to really stay in check. The mini is the size of a papaya this week.
Week 23: Oct 24 – 30
We just got back from our last flight to Boston. Overall, I felt like I traveled fine… but I could see it being tougher as the pregnancy progresses. Lately, I’ve been booking infant care tours for our little one when they turn 3 months. I have two girlfriends with 2 kids who are terrific moms…each offer the advice of getting a nanny (instead of daycare). I think a nanny or our moms would be great, but my biggest push for the daycare is to engage early development and socialization. I think the nanny and our moms are great to help on certain days, but Bear and I work and that would be a 5 day a week commitment. That’s a lot to ask for from our moms who live out of town. Plus, I do not want a complete stranger (i.e. the nanny) around our baby just yet. Consider it the mamma bear in me. But, I want accreditation, vetting, background checks, early childhood education, experience…. and from what I am finding in my searches… it’s really hit or miss with the nanny. I really am taking to the Montessori method for independent learning and self-soothing and the way it encourages infants/toddlers to participate in their environments. Plus, one of the Montessori schools we’re looking at does language immersion. Many educators have said that the most absorbent stage of learning is from 0-6 years. Great link that compares infant care and nanny care.
YouTube video of LePort Montessori Infant School
Plus, I don’t really believe in decorating a nursery and such — we’re in the midst of creating/designing/constructing a companion unit and will then at a later date do a large remodel of the house. So, simplicity and minimalism are my jam. I read this article on the Montessori way of setting up your home for infant and I love it and would like to replicate it!
Comparing Montessori and Reggio learning styles (2 infant care philosophies we are looking at):
I’m ecstatic to learn about MontiKids – a toy delivery service that bases it’s philosophies on Montessori. Every 3 months, the company will send you age/development appropriate toys to you. I am so thankful for minimizing screen time and maximizing play/learn time with my future kiddo.
We had our first breastfeeding class last night. It was actually really really informative. We’re always the smallest “bump” in the class as I think most of the moms in there are due November…. and we’re not due until February. But, I love having the info ahead of time so I can plan….and I only know my schedule one month in advance 2 weeks prior to the new month. We’re definitely on board for 6 months of exclusive breast feeding and then starting organic, non-GMO, hormone-free foods around that time with supplemental breastfeeding. I’d love to breastfeed for at least 1 year if it’s possible. We’ll see! I know it’s not an easy task.
All things Montessori:
- Recommended Reading on Montessori
- How to setup an infant room at home
- Montessori age 0 – 6 months
- Raising infants and toddlers the Montessori way
- How we Montessori
We had our 24 week growth scan ultrasound on Oct 30. Everything looked great!
Week 24: Oct 31 – Nov 7
This week, the mini is the size of a large zucchini. At this stage, we have a viable fetus. Things are still going well. I’m feeling little kicks. Mini’s insertion of the umbilical cord is just slightly off center on the placenta. The last growth scan showed no vasa previa and the baby was already positioned head down. Funny thing, at every ultrasound… the Mini is super chill. The ultrasound tech will push the probe into my belly to shake/wiggle the baby to move and change positions…. but to no avail. Hopefully, they’ll be this chill when they’re born!
I’m looking at various cord blood companies to see whether it’s worthwhile to bank stem cells from the umbilical cord when the baby is born. Basically, it’s kind of like having a backup source of undifferentiated cells that could turn into anything (bone marrow, red cells, white cells, tissue, etc.) if we ever need to use them down the line. My biggest question is: what’s the viability/longevity of these cells to be effective if we need them? It’s a pretty large upfront cost. And nothing is guaranteed. So… I asked my OB what she did with her kids and she said the first one it was free, and then she paid for the 2nd and the 3rd. I’m going to continue my polling today to figure out if it’s worth it or not. What I’d really like to know is if anyone has had to use these stem cells….. was it worth it? Did it change the course of disease or alter treatments?
Cord Blood Info:
- BabyCenter Reviews
So after reading through every one of these links…. I’m leaning more towards NOT banking. If something isn’t going to be useful 10-20 years down the road…. why bother? Plus, in 10-20 years, research and medicine will have advanced that there may be better treatment options available – i.e. creating stem cells that are a match to a recipient. There are public stem cell and tissue registries. I suppose the key thing is would we have a match for our multi-racial family from a public bank/registry? We both have ZERO genetic history of diseases or cancers. It’s a big upfront cost — and I’m not sure the technology is quite there for advanced treatments. But, if I were to choose a private cord bank company right now, I’d probably choose CBR.
Update Jan 15, 2018, 34 weeks, 6 days: We ultimately re-discussed the cord blood/tissue banking and decided on CBR. After chatting with several moms who did it…. a lot of them have regrets for not doing it…. and the ones who did it have peace of mind. Bear and I further researched the topic and decided we would do it and chose CBR.
Had my 24-26wk Glucola testing on Nov 6. This was after an unseemingly busy call day and night. In fact, I got called back to the hospital at 2am and was starving — so had half a bagel at 2am (and therefore breaking the 12 hour fast rules). I went in for the Glucola test at 7:30am. The Glucola drink is 50g of sugar that tastes like a really flat Sunkist soda. I thought for sure my test would be positive given my cortisol surge with the busy and stressful call day…… and fueled by my half bagel at 2am. But, low and behold, my result was 126 (range less than 139) and negative for gestational diabetes. Woohoo!! Here’s some interesting reading material on gestational diabetes and diagnosing it: part 1, part 2.
Week 25: Nov 7-13
- Brain Rules for Baby – listened to this on Audible (during 2nd trimester) and it’s outstanding. Highly recommend for first-time parents and just setting a solid groundwork/foundation to build when baby comes.
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – currently listening to this on Audible (3rd trimester).
- Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester). Also gifted to both moms.
- How To Raise An Amazing Child the Montessori Way, 2nd Edition – Gifted to both moms.
- Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, 4th Edition: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns: Amazing Sleep from Day One – For Baby and You
- The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family (Sears Parenting Library)
- Getting Your Baby to Sleep the Baby Sleep Trainer Way – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year
- Nov 23: Took the Amtrak train up to Camarillo to hang with Ross’ fam for Thanksgiving. The train is the way to go! Lots of space, bathrooms (important when a prego gal is going to the bathroom every 2 hours!), wifi, charging outlets, cafe cart, etc. Ever since living in Boston, I have been a huge fan of public transportation! It’s the way to go! Thanksgiving was great. Lots of great food, company, conversation, and mingling!
- Nov 24: I’m on call today and just got called into work — that’s the life of a doc — we signed up for this so don’t feel sorry for us. We know being on call and away is part of the gig. No sympathy needed. Saturday, we’ll go to my mom’s house and have another yummy feast! For some reason, this year…I’m really loving and craving leftovers! I know my mom will hook it up as I told her to prep a lot so I could eat it for at least a week. Been playing the uke a lot lately (especially since getting my new tenor uke!). Starting to form calluses on the fingers (used to have these when playing the violin)… such a good thing! This lil kiddo is def gonna love music and the uke! Now, to play more classical music and read to them!
- Nov 25: Thanksgiving at my mom’s was great. Lots of great food and leftovers and of course football — that’s our Thanksgiving tradition!
- Nov 27: Everything looked great at my 28 week appointment. Got my dTaP vaccine. Baby’s HR in 140s and baby is growing nicely. My BP was good 119/64. 155lb on the scale (whoa!). That’s about 20lb over my norm! It’s definitely an adjustment to seeing the changes in my body…what it can and can’t do. I’m getting more short of breath these days and that’s with hardly ANY activity. Taking a flight of stairs – yeah… short of breath.
- Things I miss most: hiking, wine, rock climbing, feeling in shape, being at peace (vs thinking about a million things constantly), date nights (usually too tired by the end of the week)
- Things I won’t miss: being thirsty and drinking water all the time, peeing a couple of times in the middle of the night, not being able to sleep through the night while also being tired in the day (currently thinking about a lot of things right now), the low pressure/cramping, being short of breath, reflux, asking myself whether something is too hard or too heavy to lift or push, the hormonal push to growl at everyone
- Awesome Montessori toy list for ages 0-preschool
- Montessori at home from age 0-3 months
- Raising multilingual kids
- Create a montessori home from the start
- Tummy Time
- Making tummy time easier
- Thurs, Dec 28th: I don’t think I drank much water that day and ended up feeling pretty dehydrated. Went to pilates and as I was doing bridge pose started feeling light headed like I was going to pass out. I stopped and rolled onto my left side and put my legs up on the reformer foot bar (venous return is key!). I stayed in this position until I felt back to myself (roughly 10 minutes) and then I finished off the class. BUT,… when I went home that evening, the Mini did NOT make their kick counts. They would maybe do 1 kick in an hour (instead of the 10 they’re supposed to get). I fell asleep before I remembered to call the OB office.
- So, Friday, I went to work and did a double heart day and then walked up to Labor and Delivery to get on the monitor to check out fetal heart tones. Everything seemed to be ok — and that was a huge relief for me!
- Saturday, Dec 30: Ross got a new car! We needed to seriously upgrade his ride to something more child friendly and safe for our lil Mini! The new year will be welcomed in 2018 with a lot of new changes!
Our Mini is the size of a pineapple! Nowadays, sleep is escaping me (from the multiple wakeups to pee to just not being able to sleep despite being exhausted) — my most comfortable position is propped up with pillows and oftentimes I find my best sleep upright on the couch. Bear is starting to nest — it’s so cute to see. I easily go through a liter of La Croix in a day, but I found out that the BPA in the aluminum cans clearly aren’t good. So Bear went to Jimbo’s and bought three different soda water beverages in glass containers. He is soooooooo thoughtful! At work, I’m heading to the bathroom every 2 hours.
Hours worked: 26 hours
Week 34: January 9 – 15, 2018
Even though this week was a bit lighter for me (I had originally taken this week off as a staycation, but opted to just take Friday off), I couldn’t get comfy sleeping. I took an OB call on Wednesday and was essentially done around midnight (I have a midnight rule at work: if I’m still at work at midnight, I just sleep in the call room). While sleeping in the call room, I was only sleeping 1.5 hours at a time. The insatiable thirst and constant and consistent potty breaks are starting to become unbearable. I’m tired all the time and it’s from getting up every 1.5 hours all through the night. It’s not even something I feel like I could fix unless I had a urinary foley catheter in place. The belly feels like it’s getting bigger: getting up and out of bed is becoming more difficult (I have to roll to one side and then get up vs just getting straight up from a bend at the waist); the SI joint pain has returned with more frequency but it’s not unbearable; the Braxton-Hicks contractions are more common and coming higher up on my belly — before I would have maybe 1 every couple of days — this week I’m having several a day. The Mini is still making their kick counts. The gals on OB think I’m having a boy — they base this on: my “glow”, lack of acne on my face, the way I’m carrying the baby, my lack of all over weight gain…. although I’m not sure any of these old wives tales are accurate in any way. I’d be ecstatic with a healthy baby, regardless of sex.
I’ve finished several books:
- Brain Rules for Baby – listened to this on Audible (during 2nd trimester) and it’s outstanding. Highly recommend for first-time parents and just setting a solid groundwork/foundation to build when baby comes. This book was such a gem as it related a bit of science to baby development.
- Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason – started this on Audible (3rd trimester). This book was a nice eye opener that not all praise and punishment is the right kind. I learned a lot about fostering positivity with effort and not just for anything that is done. I agree that punishment is not a good system for motivation, but this book really uncovers that reward is NOT the best system for motivation either. I plan to implement these techniques for our Mini. This was my 3rd favorite book in the bunch I’ve been reading.
- Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, from Birth to Age Three – listened to this on Audible (3rd trimester). Also gifted to both moms. This was a close second to Brain Rules for Baby (for me). It tackles the principles of Montessori and the whys and hows to implement this method of development. It promotes independence of the child, but also places importance on how to promote brain development with the simple things (simple toys: no bright lights or sounds, no screens, the power of imaginative play, etc.). I highly recommend this book as a 2nd read after Brain rules for Baby.
- Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living: started this in 3rd trimester.
- Getting Your Baby to Sleep the Baby Sleep Trainer Way – currently reading this on Kindle (3rd trimester)
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children: started 3rd trimester on Audible. This book is incredible!! Highly recommend and will incorporate into our parenting.
- Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities From the Very Start: started 3rd trimester on Audible.
Our baby shower went off without a hitch! It was great catching up with people and seeing the outpouring of love for our lil one on the way! We could’ve easily fed 50 people — it’s always hard to know how much food to factor in. We had Cardiff crack (tri-tip), burgers, pulled chicken sliders, coleslaw, veggies, dips and chips, cakes, cookies, potato salad. It was an incredible feast!! I only wish I could eat more! I was only able to get a bite of beef tri-tip, one burger slider, and one chicken slider down before I was super stuffed! Dessert came later around 7p for me.
The Braxton-Hicks contractions are more frequent now — having at least one daily — but anywhere up to 5 in a day. Still waking up every 1.5-2hours nightly for a pee. Drinking adequate amounts of water (I probably go through 4x 32oz of water daily and also 1x 32 oz water nightly.
We ultimately re-discussed the cord blood/tissue banking and decided on CBR. After chatting with several moms who did it…. a lot of them have regrets for not doing it…. and the ones who did it have peace of mind. Bear and I further researched the topic and decided we would do it and chose CBR.
Hours worked: 19.5
Week 35: January 16 – 22, 2018
This week has been insanely busy. Not sure if that’s how the schedule just worked out this week or people are back to signing up for surgeries. Additionally, this week Bear and I felt that the Mini was significantly bigger. I feel more fatigued, larger, more difficulty moving around, more thirst and urinating, etc. Lately, my craving has been winter citrus — oranges and mandarins. Really, I’m craving anything with liquid… I can’t get enough. Another great treat we’ve enjoyed is root beer — what is going on with these cravings? Bear has been nesting hard! He’s organized the house, setup the bassinet, installed the car seat, packed his hospital bag and the baby’s bag. It’s so cute to see him so excited and nesting! He’s been such a great husband, supporter, massager, and I know he’s gonna be an amazing father! I can’t believe how fast the days are moving now! We got our Cord Blood Registry kit and filled out everything for it so it will be ready to go with our hospital bags.
Things I’ve been looking at today:
- Where I’ll be delivering: Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla
- Questions and Answers from Scripps; Frequently asked questions
- Resources offered by Scripps
- Delivering your baby at Scripps
- Hospital rankings in San Diego
Hours worked: 54.5
Week 36: Jan 23 – 29, 2018
We had our 36 week AFI and NST. I’ll be doing these twice a week now as I’m deemed “high risk” because I’m AMA (advanced maternal age: > 35 years old). My BP was great at 108/76. Fundal height was right on track at 36. AFI was normal at 9 (but the range I was told was 5-25). I want that number to be higher. Dr. W asked if I could drink more water. I’d happily do that — currently I’m drinking 6 x 32oz of water in a 24 hour period. My urine was free of protein and glucose. All good things. I’m 160lb. Whoa! Mini is head down right now. So far, everything is good! Had the 2nd AFI and NST after a 14 hour workday. AFI was 9.5 and NST was perfect – nice and reactive. Dr. W said I could stop working at anytime, but I really want to save up all that time for when the baby comes. Good to know that I can pull that card when I just can’t take it! I was really dragging after working 37.5 hours in 3 days. My legs are swelling, despite my best efforts of wearing calf compression socks and trying to put my legs up. There’s a dull ache by the end of the work day. Luckily, my Bear is always down to give my legs and feet a good rub down at the end of the day.
And I had to look at the odds of going into labor…
- Boston Globe – Get Ready. Your baby is coming early.
- Labor probability calculator
- Your due date is wrong
- NPR: Doctors to pregnant women: Wait at least 39 weeks
Hours worked: 45.5
Week 37: Jan 30 – Feb 5, 2018
Our 1 year wedding anniversary on Feb 4!! I can’t believe how quickly the year flew by and everything that has come our way! It’s been an incredible year! Nevermind that it’s SuperBowl Sunday (go Eagles!)… we spent a wonderful relaxing spa day at Rancho Valencia. The Duet 90 minute massage was incredible (we had Sara and Noelle — both were fantastic!). A chill day lounging by the pool — I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our 1st year wedding anniversary! In fact, Bear and I decided we will have a full spa day every wedding anniversary.
My cravings lately have been all things citrus and A&W root beer! I’m trying to cut back on the sodas – I’ve never had such a craving for them (not even before pregnancy!). This led me to look into the issues of artificial sweeteners. Basically, I’m gonna stick to organic oranges, mandarins, OJ and La Croix bubbly waters.
Feb 5 was our weekly appointment for NST/AFI/Dr. W for week 38 (which is tomorrow!). I’ve lost a couple of pounds and was 158.8lb for today’s visit. Who knows what that is from as I haven’t changed anything in my diet or activity level (although this past week was pretty taxing). 117/73, hr 70. FHR 140s. Good NST read with adequate accelerations and contractions. I’m contracting several times throughout the day, but not regularly. AFI was 10.5 today! On the cervical exam, Dr. W said I was at best finger tip (which is more than what it was last week – softened closed cervix). There’s some spotting after the exam this go around.
Things on my mind lately:
- Breastfeeding to induce labor
Safe, Healthy Birth: What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know. J Perinat Educ. 2009 Summer; 18(3): 48–54.
- The Relationship of the Administration of Intrapartum Synthetic Oxytocin and Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Rates. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Mar;12:98-102.
I’m already thinking of getting out and about with the newborn. We have a retirement party coming up for some of our colleagues and I want to go…but I also want to bring the Mini. I think my strategy is a carrier and keeping it a short visit.
Getting a newborn out in a restaurant:
- When to use a carrier
- BabyBjorn: When is it safe to use a baby carrier
- Baby slings and carriers: newborn to 5 months
- iBaby Labs: Taking your newborn to a restaurant
- Secrets of baby behavior: taking your baby to a restaurant
- BrightHorizons: Dining with kids
- CloudMom: Eating out with kids — Can you bring a newborn?
Hours worked: 47.5 hours (in 4 days)
Week 38: Feb 6 – 12, 2018
Had a bit of light spotting on Wednesday (38 weeks, 2 days). Still contracting away. The tiredness is evident – the lack of sleep for the last month has been tough. Maybe next week I’ll get the doctor’s note. NST was reassuring and the AFI was 10.1 on Thursday. Everything is still going great!
February 10, 2018 — There’s been a change in my contractions. Instead of just being abdominal contractions, they’ve turned into more back and abdominal contractions. Right now, they’re about 8-10 minutes apart, lasting 40sec – 1 min. Looks like we’re getting close. With the contractions is the urge to poo. I’ve started spotting again. I’ve been up since 4:30 bc of the new back contractions — they’re pretty uncomfortable. The abdominal contractions just feel like a strong menstrual cramp. I’m on call this weekend (I traded down to #3 today bc I was #1 in the main OR). Let’s see how this day plays out!
For the Chinese zodiac…
- If baby is born before the Chinese New Year (before Friday, Feb 16, 2018), they are the year of the ROOSTER
- If baby is born after the Chinese New Year (on or after Friday, Feb 16, 2018), they are the year of the DOG
Saturday, Feb 10, 2018
I woke up this morning around 4:30a feeling a lot of low back pressure and new buttock/tailbone pressure. It woke me up from sleep. It lasted for about an hour and then subsided. Luckily, the day before, I traded with Milbern down to #3 for my #1 weekend call. The new back pressure was off and on throughout the day — timing the contractions were about 11-13 minutes apart. They definitely felt different from my other contractions which were mainly front and abdominal. By the time the evening rolled around, my contractions were 5 minutes apart and still painful! We went in to Labor & Delivery to get checked out since they said come to the hospital if you’re 5-1-1 (5 minutes apart on the contractions, 1 minute in length, and for 1 hour total). Once we got to the hospital around 6pm, I got checked out and was only 1 cm dilated. We found that the baby’s position was OP/OT. One of the midwives suggested some positions to try at home to see if we could turn the baby — trust me, I was all ears to help get this baby into a more deliverable position! We left the hospital to try these techniques. There was a website she recommended called SpinningBabies.com that was super helpful for a bunch of these techniques. We tried me being on all 4s with a bit of inversion. We tried a hot bath with ice packs on my back. I tried a couple of the techniques from the Spinning Babies website. We tried these different techniques all the way until Sunday, Feb 11 at 2am.
Sunday, Feb 11, 2018
2am we came back into the hospital bc our contractions were now about 3.5 minutes apart. The pain was still pretty intense despite our best efforts to get the baby to turn. When we came back in, they opted to either give me some Tylenol and Ambien or Nubain and Phenergan. I opted for the Nubain/phenergan combo as the pain was intense and the midwife stated I needed to relax to allow my cervix to dilate. I was able to sleep for 3 hours and then after waking up, they decided to admit me as I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced AND could get an epidural. That’s exactly what I did next. Shiyin did an awesome job with the placement. After that, I was able to get comfortable and get some rest. I was started on Pitocin a couple of hours after the epidural. By around 3pm, I had progressed to 6-7cm dilated. Then I had SROM’d and enjoyed a celebratory pickle. By around 7pm, I was 7.5-8cm dilated, but baby was still OP. There was a forebag of amniotic fluid that was ruptured by the midwife. We again tried a bunch of the different positions to help move the baby out of OP, but to no avail. Around 8:30p, I was 10cm dilated and started pushing. I was doing 10 seconds of pushing x3 per every contraction. My OB (Kim Washkowiak) who wasn’t even on call came to deliver her. This went on for an hour until our little girl was born at 22:09pm. She looked perfect! We were able to get skin-to-skin immediately and our cord blood and tissue was sent. She got checked out by the baby nurse and everything looked great! She was 7lb 3oz, 21 inches long. She came out with a cute conehead! An hour after delivery, she was latching and had a strong suck and we were able to breastfeed immediately. This has been such an adventure and we’re so excited to see what each day brings!
Hours worked: so far… 42 hours (in 4 days)
Setting up a baby registry
Help and favors registry
- Bob Revolution Pro stroller (after baby is 6 months old):
- HelloBaby: Best breast pumps 2017
- Medela Pump in Style advanced breast pump with on-the-go tote
Graco Blossom 4 in 1 system
Great Day Cares:
Local Day Cares to check out:
- Bright Horizons: https://discover.brighthorizons.com/thank-you.php
- Early Childhood Development Center: https://discover.brighthorizons.com/thank-you.php
- KinderCare: http://www.kindercare.com/our-centers/san-diego/ca/301463
- Lifetime Montessori School: https://lifetimemontessorischool.com/toddler-program-1
- LePort Montessori School: https://www.yelp.com/biz/leport-montessori-school-solana-beach-del-mar
- La Jolla Forest School: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-jolla-forest-school-san-diego
- Gluck Maxwell and Muriel Child Care Center: https://www.yelp.com/biz/gluck-maxwell-h-and-muriel-child-care-center-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- The Kids Bay Learning Center: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-kids-bay-learning-center-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- Mary Lyakov, Licensed family child care: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lyakov-mary-licenced-family-child-care-san-diego?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- Del Mar Childcare: https://www.yelp.com/biz/del-mar-childcare-del-mar-2?osq=infant+and+baby+day+care
- The Goddard School: https://www.goddardschool.com/classrooms/infant
- The Kid’s Bay: http://thekidsbay.com/our-programs/infanttoddler
Learning to play the ukulele
The ukulele… it’s gotta be one of the most portable and entertaining instruments in the world! I first came across this instrument while listening to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The sound just gave off such a positive happy vibe. Then, a super gifted ukulele player by the name of Jake Shimabukuro caught my eye while scrolling through YouTube. His rendition of this song was incredible! I was hooked and just had to learn to play. So, here’s what I did….
- Which size ukulele to get?
- What kind/brand of ukulele to get?
- Ukulele strap to help hold the instrument in position
- Carrying case
- Clip-on tuner
Learn how to play:
- Cynthia Lin — she has amazing tutorials!
- Ukulele Underground
- The Ukulele Teacher
- Ukulele Road Trips
- Top Uke Tips for Beginners
Resources I’ve bookmarked:
Now I’m looking at a new uke:
- Best Concert Ukes
- Best Tenor Ukes
- Best Soprano Ukes
- Best Intermediate Ukes 2017
My uke and accessories:
- My Ukes
- Lanikai LU-21C Concert Ukulele (my first uke)
- KA-SSTU-T Travel Tenor Ukulele by Kala (my 2nd uke)
- My tuner: Snark SN6 Clip-On Ukulele Tuner (Black)
- My uke strap: Clip On Ukulele Strap Black Color Adjustable In Various Length From Lohanu Ukulele Hook & Clips On Requires No Drilling Easy To Use Fits Any Uke Sizes
- My capo: Shubb Lite Ukulele Capo – Anodized Silver
Skateboarding: A beginner’s journey
I played around with a skateboard when I was a kid. I thought it was neat to hang with the boys and skate in the driveway/street. Well, I didn’t get much street time as the street was paved with loose gravel on tar — which melted in the Texas summers.
I came across this YouTube vid: https://youtu.be/jdJjW7pknfE and decided I wanted to give it a try. Why are so many middle agers trying something that kids do often?
Great advice on getting a skateboard and beginner techniques:
Which skateboard to get?
- Thought Co: Complete skateboarding buying guide
- Best skateboard decks money can buy
- Ospreysports UK: Choosing a Skateboard
- Best skateboards for beginners: 2017 review
- SurfScience: Skateboards to help your surfing
My current thoughts:
- I really like the idea of a carve board — I don’t really see myself getting all that crazy with tricks. But the added benefit of being able to get a nice surfing/snowboarding simulator seems awesome!
- I’m leaning towards the 34″ Greenroom Complete with C7 truck or the 36″ Venice Blue Complete with C7 truck
What I got:
What my husband got:
Any suggestions? What would you get?
Apple watch vs Pebble 2
I got the first apple watch when it came out and will be using that version to compare to the new Pebble 2.
CNET comparison bt apple watch 2, samsung gear s3, fitbit, android wear, garmin, pebble
First off, I was very happy with my Apple watch 1. There’s a lot of great notifications for it and it’s user friendly. One thing I did not like about the watch is that the notifications would go directly to the watch without warning me on the iphone despite my ringer being on.
The main reason why I decided to look for a watch outside of my stellar apple watch is because the battery life on the apple watch is incredibly low. I can only go one day between charges. Sometimes, I’m at work for more than 24 hours so it becomes more cumbersome on the logistics. Sure, I could bring my charger and charge it… but that takes time, effort, and extra cords since it doesn’t have a lightning charger. So, enter the Pebble 2…a Kickstarter project!
Ars Technica Reviews: Pebble 2 vs. Apple Watch 2
Wareable Pebble 2 review vs. Wareable Apple Watch review
CNET review: new apple watch 2 vs. CNET review: pebble 2
My overall thoughts and winners comparing Apple watch 1 to Pebble 2:
- Battery life: Pebble 2
- HR workout tracking: Apple watch 1
- Apps: Apple Watch 1
- Waterproof: Pebble 2
- HR, sleep, steps, calories, distance tracking throughout day: Pebble 2
- Cost: Pebble 2
- Phone required: both
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