Monday, November 16, 2015

25 week pregnancy update

This was supposed to be a five month update, but I am a bit late as I will be six months along by next week. I've really been struggling with keeping up with my blog because of everything else that is going on (training for my new job, studying like mad for my designation, taking care of a toddler, and the list goes on). I am trying my best though, as I know I will want to read these posts later on. I've recently been revisiting posts I wrote while pregnant with Liana and have gotten quite emotional over a few of them! I feel very close to those posts because they represent who I was and everything I was feeling while carrying my first child, which is something I can only experience once. I feel compelled to keep up with updates this time around and feel similarly emotional about them since this will most likely be the last time I carry a child.

On a lighter note, this baby is wriggling around all day long, which apparently isn't surprising, as Liana's updates note that she was also regularly beating me up by 25 weeks. Speaking of Liana's updates... her 25 week update includes a photo of my breakfast for that day and when I saw it, my mouth started watering! Now I want waffles with cream cheese and berries... Mmm. I've also been craving anything chocolate lately and I have been really upset that most hot cocoa mixes have milk in them. -- I actually just had to pause after writing that sentence to google how to make hot cocoa with pure cocoa rather than a mix because I remembered we have cocoa in the cupboard. I know what I will be curling up with later!

Liana's 25 week update also included plans for Liana's nursery, which kind of makes me sad that we won't have a nursery set up for little sprout #2. We currently have three bedrooms in our home, one is mine and Ashton's, one is Liana's and the third is a spare room and a place for Abel when he stays over every other weekend. I have definitely thought about turning the spare room into the baby's room and having Abel sleep in Liana's room when he is over since they both sleep completely through the night. However, we have a lot of odd furniture in the spare room including a futon, two desks, two book shelves, a wide bureau, an end table, and an entertainment system with a large TV on it, as well as all of Abel's toys and bits. I get so overwhelmed every time I think about it, but I know I will be even more stressed out if I wait until the baby arrives. I'll have to browse pinterest later for some space saving ideas!

Besides the nursery situation, I have been feeling really well. I do tend to get exhausted a bit easier than during my last pregnancy, and am guessing that it is due to the fact that I have a desk job now. During my last pregnancy I was on my feet at work and was used to walking around for eight hours a day, five to six days per week, so I got plenty of exercise. This time around, my exercise consists of walking up and down two flights of stairs at work three times per day and chasing Liana around on the weekends. I'm actually disappointed in how little exercise I am getting, and know that I need to start being more active before I get too big and uncomfortable.

My overall current feeling is that I simply can not wait until the baby is born. Not because I am not enjoying being pregnant, but because I am excited to have a newborn again, and to see my two littles grow together in a new chapter of our lives. ♡

Monday, November 9, 2015

The best of autumn.

Hello November!

We all know that October sparks the beginning of autumn's festive nature with color changing foliage, the pumpkin spice craze, and the first appearance of boots in our wardrobe. But the autumnal coziness is undeniably evident in November, with the addition of sweaters and scarves, crunchy leaves, more crisp air, and, of course, we can't forget the delectable comfort feast that is Thanksgiving.

I'll admit that I am not the biggest fan of cold weather. I get cold fairly easily, so I tend to stay inside as autumn approaches. But everything outside is so nice to look at during this time of year. This may be a New England thing, or maybe just a New Hampshire thing, but I grew up around the tradition of "leaf peeping." That is, hopping in the car and going for a long ride just to witness the sheer beauty of the changing foliage. Am I the only one who enjoys this? Yes? Alright then.... moving on.

As for staying in, who doesn't love warming their hands on a cup of cocoa while bundled under a cozy fleece blanket and enjoying a romantic comedy with your partner? I would, except that romantic comedies aren't Ashton's thing, so we usually end up watching Law and Order SVU, Top Gear, or a stand-up comedy. But hey, a girl can dream, right? And pass me a cookie that I can dunk in my cocoa!

Two other hobbies come to mind during this time of year: baking and reading. I absolutely melt over baked goods and love when the scent fills the whole house. Muffins, scones, donuts, pies.... I'll have to do some research and whip up a good recipe to share. A great way to appreciate your warm baked goods is over that book you got earlier this year but haven't found time to read yet. I'm currently looking forward to picking up my copy of Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. I actually received it as a Christmas gift last year and have yet to open it up, but I've heard a million and one great things about it, so that is definitely on my to do list this season.

This year I am five months pregnant as we welcome the autumn season. What a great time to dress my expanding bump in some cozy new sweaters to keep warm. I've been craving a shopping trip and I feel this is the perfect excuse! I'm on the hunt for some black maternity pants that I can wear to work and some sweaters that aren't knitted and see-through (I have a habit of picking out cute knitted sweaters that require a perfectly matching undershirt to show through the holes). I'd also love some new leggings (who wouldn't?) and yoga pants to wear at home. If I'm feeling glamorous I'd like to splash a little autumn color on my nails since they've been lacking attention. Maybe I'll get a little festive with them around Christmas as well!

What are your favorite things about autumn?
Do you have traditions or activities that you look forward to during this time of year?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Six Reasons NOT to Find Out The Sex of Your Baby

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find out your baby's sex in the delivery room instead of on an ultrasound screen? Many couples can't wait to find out whether they will have a boy or girl so they can begin decorating the baby's nursery in pink or blue, but here are six reasons to keep the gender a surprise and go team green!

The wait to find out my baby's sex has been exciting, but it also exercises my patience, as I am just dying to find out if Liana will have a baby brother or baby sister to tease (ahem.. I mean, "play with"). Personally, gender doesn't matter to me. I could buy all neutral colored items and me and my baby would be just as happy as buying everything in shades of pink or blue. Society will pave a different path for my little one in the future, but for now I'll proudly wave the "team green" flag.

1. Pure bond

The bond between my baby and I is that of pure love for the life I helped to create and for this period of coexistence. We don't know much about each other right now, but we're both dependent on each other, and helping each other to thrive. By not knowing whether my baby is a boy or girl, I am eliminating all expectations based on gender from our current bond. I am not bonding with my baby's sex, I am bonding with the life inside of me.

2. Relieving gender stereotypes before birth
Will my child be a famous athlete? A dancer? A lawyer? A nurse? An accountant? A social worker? A police officer? A computer technician? These are all equal possibilities, but by knowing whether my baby is a boy or girl, people will create subconscious expectations based on gender. We all do it, I am guilty as well. When I was pregnant with Liana, I imagined her wearing lots of bows and wondered if she would like playing with dolls or taking dance lessons. With our new little bundle, I imagine a different array of moments. The first swimming lesson, which sporting events or extracurricular programs I will attend, and the art pieces I will get to hang on my fridge following each Mother's Day. See the "team green" difference?

3. Functional gifts
By not knowing the baby's sex, you are more likely to receive gifts that you will actually use. There are many functional items than can be gifted without having gender in mind (diapers, baby toiletries, carrier, high chair, stroller, car seat, bottles, pacifiers, baby-proofing supplies, possibly nursery decor, and even some clothing!). Without even thinking about it, most people want to buy "cute" gifts, which usually involve the pink or blue categorization.

4. Inclusive planning
Many people think they have to know their baby's sex in order to decorate the nursery (which will undoubtedly include pink or blue as the base color), but what about an animal theme? A storybook theme? Or classic but neutral color schemes (gray or white can be paired with pretty much any color)? Liana's nursery was a Studio Ghibli theme and although we knew we were expecting a girl, it would have been perfect for either a boy or a girl. The same mentality goes for picking out your child's first toys or clothing. Their world will be crowded with pink or blue as soon as the word gets out, so why not provide them with other stimulating colors from the start?

5. Maintaining one surprise for BTDT parents
All pregnancies are different, and each has the possibility to surprise you when you least expect it. But as a "been there done that" (BDTD) mum who has only been through one pregnancy, I am still finding the whole process a bit "stale". I feel very prepared for the changes my body is going through and I know what to expect at each prenatal appointment. My baby's sex is the main aspect that is still a surprise (other than the birthing experience, because who really knows when that will be or what will happen!). To maintain the excitement of my tiny soon-to-be addition to the family, I am letting the "boy or girl?" question remain a mystery for now.

6. Endless possibilities
We are currently taking a time out with the baby naming game. I have written many little lists of [girl and boy] names that I like, but I know it is hard for Ashton to comment on them because he knows the baby's sex and doesn't want to ruin the surprise for me. However, I have been having a quite a bit of fun creating inclusive lists of names, since I don't have the limit of imagining our little one with a specific gender just yet. We could be having a little 'Marlow' or a tiny 'Charlotte'. In my mind, the possibilities are endless!

Maintaining the surprise until birth isn't for everyone. I honestly don't think I could have gone team green during my first pregnancy. I REALLY wanted a daughter, so I elected to find out whether we'd have a boy or girl as soon as I possible. But this time, I don't have as strong of a preference. I'd love for Liana to have a sister that she can share all of her secrets with. I'd also love to have the experience of mothering a son. I can't say for sure if I will definitely wait until delivery to find out, but as for family and friends, they'll have to wait until they visit in the hospital to see whether baby's first hat is pink or blue!

Would you ever consider going team green? Why or why not?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pregnancy update at 20 weeks

baby bump, danielle hernandez

Good morning! Liana is eating a snack so I thought I throw together another blog post before she's up running around again.

I am twenty weeks pregnant today, and already half way to labor and delivery! My pregnancy seems to be flying by because we've only recently gone public, but it also seems like such a long time until we get to meet our new little one. I am both scared and excited. Will I enjoy being a mother of two (under two)? It will be hard, but I know I will get the hang of it. Liana was a pretty chill newborn, so maybe this baby will be too. And eventually they will play together and I will watch as Liana teaches her new sibling everything she knows. I'll watch them play, laugh, fight, and cry together. And I will love the heck out of them along the way. Will I be able to focus my attention equally among them? Realistically, probably not. I can try my hardest, but it might not be necessary. Newborns sleep quite a bit so I imagine I'll have plenty of time to spend with Liana at that stage. I also imagine Liana pulling her rank as diva and demanding the attention be on her at times. I'm not exactly looking forward to that stage, but I won't fight the inevitable.
pregnancy cravings, danielle hernandez
I have had such an odd array of cravings this time around. Last time my first craving was [bread and butter] pickles and lots of cake and ice cream. This time it's been completely random. And when a craving comes on, I desperately want the taste in my mouth as soon as possible. I went through a 'no chocolate' phase, and didn't want a single thing that had chocolate in it. Right now it is the complete opposite. I wake up every morning wishing I can a chocolate bar to munch on for breakfast! I've made chocolate muffins, a 'brownie in a mug', hot chocolate in the morning to bring to work, chocolate milk, and dark chocolate chip waffles. As I type this I'm remembering that I've used all of the cocoa powder and am contemplating a trip to the supermarket later. Besides chocolate, I've also craved homefries, cake, starbursts, french fries, cake, hummus, berries, peanut butter, cake..... well you get the picture.

baby bump, Liana Ruby, danielle hernandez

pregnancy weight gain, danielle hernandez
When I was pregnant with Liana, I had gained 8 1/2 pounds by 20 weeks. As of today, I've gained about 3 pounds. However, after having Liana, I never returned to my pre-pregnancy weight; I kept about 10 pounds on me. And just because I've only gained 3 pounds, that doesn't mean I don't have the roundest little belly already. It is much bigger than it was at 20 weeks last time, and the baby is already measuring bigger as well. I'm expecting to gain about the same amount as last time (I'm really trying to to go overboard with the cake!).

pregnancy symptoms, danielle hernandez
I've had a few other pesky symptoms, my first being food aversions. I had been having a grilled veggie wrap almost daily for lunch at work for over a week straight. Then one day I just couldn't eat it. I took a bite and had to force myself to swallow it. It was the exact same wrap I had been enjoying all along, but suddenly the smell made me want to vomit.

Next, some sneaky acne decided to pop up in clusters around my chin and jaw line. That was lovely.

I've also had fairly awful round ligament pains. There was a week where I couldn't walk without limping, and I couldn't carry Liana without wincing in pain. I had to sit down to put on pants and shoes. I felt like something underneath my belly was tearing a part. I talked to my doctor about it and eventually (and thankfully) it subsided. Now I only get little twinges once in a while.

I never had allergies until I was pregnant with Liana. I never realized how good I had it. And they're ten times worse during pregnancy. I've been taking allergy pills almost every single day since I became pregnant. And I still have a terrible stuffy nose, sneezing fits, and itchy and watery eyes. Gross!

And a good night's sleep... what's that? I wake almost nightly to move my belly every time I want to roll over. I tend to fall asleep while Ashton is watching tv or playing a video game, and if I happen to wake up in the night and the tv is off I usually have a difficult time falling back asleep.

baby bump, Liana Ruby, danielle hernandez
boy or girl, danielle hernandez
Yes, we did find out the sex of the baby... or should I say, Ashton found out. He really wanted to know (he says he has 'planning' to do), but I wasn't sure I wanted to know just yet. This will probably be my last child, and the last time I find out the sex of a baby I am carrying. I'm just not ready to give that moment up so easily.

However, I will admit that with only one of us knowing the baby's sex, it really throws off our name game. I am constantly searching for names and making lists, but Ashton doesn't quite like many (or any) of the names that I have chosen. He is also having a hard time coming up with and suggesting names because he knows whether to look for only boy or only girl names, and doesn't want to reveal the secret (although I do have my suspicions!).

Stay tuned for my 5 month pregnancy update in two weeks!

You can read my 20 week update from my pregnancy with Liana by clicking [here].

danielle hernandez

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Official Pregnancy Announcement!

pregnancy announcement, danielle hernandez

I'm pregnant!

Nineteen weeks and three days and my baby is already a bouncy little bean. Our second little sprout is due on February 29th, 2016.

I've been well this pregnancy and trying not to let my allergies get the best of me. This time around the baby is consistently measuring a little bigger than average, so I'm sure this one won't be a tiny, less than 6 pounder again. I've only gained three to four pounds, but my weight has shifted on my body so I already have quite the round little belly!

We've had the down syndrome screening (all clear!) and the anatomy scan (perfect results!). During the latter, the technician asked if I wanted to know the sex of the baby. I said yes, but didn't want to find out before Ashton, so he gave me a sealed envelope after the scan. Ashton wanted to know right away and opened the envelope as soon as he got his hands on it, but I wouldn't mind waiting until the baby is born so I still haven't looked. Of course I am curious, and it would make choosing a name a little easier, but I am enjoying that there is one aspect that is still a surprise.

I can't wait to meet my leap year baby!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Baby Number Two.

Parenthood is a gift that I am lucky enough to be receiving for the second time. But as it is known, Ashton and I have never actually tried to have a baby. Liana sprang up on us before we could even blink, and baby number two was conceived against some incredible odds—I was on a 99.9% effective birth control for almost a year. Don’t get me wrong, unplanned does not mean unwanted. I was pretty nervous when I found out I was pregnant with Liana, but once I accepted it, I completely immersed myself in impending “mommyhood” and Liana has been the best surprise of my life. She finds a way to bring joy to every single day, even when I’m not with her. I regret having to send her to daycare for ten hours each day and that time seems to slip away in the moments that we are together.

My heart is full of so much love for my smart, beautiful baby girl that I am not quite sure how I will love our new baby as much as I love Liana. That is not something a mother should admit, and thinking about that fact saddens me. I was initially worried that I would feel nothing for the new baby and, for a short while, I even felt indifferent about telling people about the pregnancy. It wasn’t until recently—about three weeks ago—that I first felt a connection with my baby. One night I thought I felt movement, but it only lasted a second and I concluded that it was too early—I was only fifteen weeks along. But the next day at work, I definitely felt movement that lasted a good few minutes! Slightly weary, I waited until the next day. I have been feeling my little bean roll around every single day since that first day, and early last week Ashton felt it for the first time too. I am now nineteen weeks pregnant—almost halfway to giving birth—and I can say I am finally enjoying it.

Ps. As you can tell from the photo above, I have no doubt that Liana will make a wonderful big sister.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Do you like surprises as much as we do?

I decided to make a homemade card for my Mom's birthday last month,
with the help of her grandchildren ♥



Our second bundle of joy is due February 29, 2016!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Liana's baby cousin is born!

Hello again, and welcome to another "filling in the blanks" post. This one would have been dated March 9th 2015. That is the day Liana’s baby cousin Bronson Matias took his first breath.

As soon as we heard that my sister could be in labor, Ashton, Liana, and I all piled in the car for the 112 mile ride to the hospital. I remember how long that ride was (and the fact that it was almost 11PM when we left our house). My thoughts were all over the place and every once in a while when I thought about holding my nephew for the first time I’d secretly get a little emotional. You can’t blame me, I was about to be an Auntie!

Desiree was in labor for sure, but Bronson took his sweet time and didn’t arrive until the next morning. To everyone’s surprise, he came out even smaller than Liana! He weighed in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces (compared to Liana at 5 pounds, 12 ounces).

Now I know that we’re supposed to say, “he has daddy’s eyes” or “he has mommy’s nose”, but when I saw him I immediately thought, “he has Auntie’s ears!” mainly because they looked big compared to the rest of his features. Maybe a lot of babies have big ears and they eventually grow into them, but I think I still have big ears and I took much comfort in the fact that I thought my nephew might look a little bit like me.

I really hope they don't mind, but I'm pretty sure I snapped their first family photo. I just couldn't resist though, this is such a happy moment. ♥

♥         ♥         ♥         ♥         ♥         ♥         ♥         ♥         ♥

Baby shower flashback, February 7th 2015.

I also thought I'd throw in a few photos I dug up from Desiree's baby shower, which was a green and orange dinosaur theme.

Everything looked amazing and everyone had an amazing time. The food was delicious and I just couldn't resist sneaking a few pictures!