Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baby Clark

Greg's cousin is expecting her first child about 8 weeks after our due date.

Yesterday we found out that Baby Clark is a BOY!  Congratulations Mike & Celina!

We are so excited. :) We can't wait to meet him, and for our kids to be able to grow up knowing each other.  We are due about 11 weeks after another of Greg's cousins is to welcome a little one.  It's so wonderful that our little girl will have two second-cousins her same age.

PS - Just googled it to make sure they would be second cousins.  Found out that Greg's cousins' children are his "first cousins once removed".  Confusing!  Who came up with this stuff?? :P

Christmas at New Life

This past Sunday we went to our old church's Christmas service.  We got to see a lot of friends we hadn't seen in a long time.  It was fun to show them the baby (bump) and tell them the news that baby's a girl.  I was surprised a lot of people had not found out through Facebook and so many were guessing a boy.

One person that guessed a girl was Nancy.  In fact, she hadn't even known I was pregnant.  She greeted me with, "are you expecting?!"  I am 6+ months so it's quite obvious, but I enjoyed her polite question. :) Then she grasped her hands around my belly and said, "it's a girl?"  She was right.  She was very sweet about the baby and congratulating us, and then we were greeted by some other friends.

As we were leaving, Nancy was greeting newcomers at the door.  Now what I haven't mentioned about Nancy is that she is of American Indian heritage... I believe Iroquois.  She always has on a pair of beaded earrings and loves to share her Indian stories with Greg, who is also part Indian (I believe Navajo and Apache).  Nancy is a warm woman to be around, but what happened next I really had not expected at all.  She gave our little girl an Indian name!  She called her "Singing Dove" and said that she will come out singing.  She also said that our little one will play an instrument.  She predicted that she will be 7 1/2 pounds, 18 inches with Greg's complexion... and possibly blue or green eyes.  I think all of that would be wonderful!  Let's wait and see. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmastime Belly

 My view when sitting down and letting the belly breathe. :)
My sweethearts, Greg & baby girl, in our home all ready for Christmas!  My baby bump profile is in the bottom right corner.  Her 1st pic in front of the tree. ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let's Talk Farts

Nobody told me that being pregnant was like turning into a weighty, old man.

I now fart a lot, and fart like a seasoned pro.  I rumble like a tricked out Harley peeling out of some asphalt, except there's no cool motorcycle... and lot more assssphalt. :(  Nobody wanted to tell me, an unknowing, naïve young thing living my life pre-blessed-parasite, the things about pregnancy that would be discouraging, I've discovered.  Here are some of my observations about pregnancy thus far, and yes I am willing to scare -- I mean share:
  • Morning sickness is morning-noon-and-night sickness.  I think they just call it morning sickness because pregnant women are too tired to finish explaining... but I would wake up in the middle of the night seasick as if I was snoozing on a fishing boat.

  • I cannot roll over in bed without a lot of huffing a puffing.

  • I can barely dress myself.  I did not know that one of my daily struggles would be standing on one foot and trying to balance long enough to get my legs in/out of clothing without toppling over.

  • I can hardly wipe myself after using the restroom... no matter what I try.  It's getting more difficult, in fact.  I seriously just had an experience before I sat down to write this where I felt like I was about to dislocate a rib with all the reaching.  Which leads me to wonder... if my stomach is going to grow another 20 cm or so, should I invent some sort of pregnancy butt wiper?  I'm envisioning something resembling a cat scratcher.  Maybe I just need a bidet... which leads me to my next point...

  • Oh, the farting.  About a week ago the uncontrollable, unsuspecting embarrassment bombs began.  I was in Motherhood Maternity.  Thank God, right? Somewhere I can feel understood a.k.a. get away with itBrrroooooo.  "Oh my gosh, how did that just happen?  No warning!"  Greg came in like the Knight In Shining Armour that he is and chuckles, "did you just fart?"  Squeeeeak.  As we bought our Christmas tree last night at Home Depot.  "Hopefully the tree lifter guy did not hear that thanks to me timing it with the chainsaw," I think to myself.  Brrrrttrrrttrtrrtrt rttt.  Loud and clear in the office I go.  Where I'll stop?  I do not know!!!! :( Just when I think I'm done farting, I fart again.  I have come to accept I will be heard... but I wonder, does the general population really let pregnant women off the hook for these noise/air disturbances?

  • OW!  My hips -- usually my left hip.  It feels partially dislocated and this is why I waddle.  It's not my weight, really, but the fact that my legs simply do not feel like they hit the ground evenly anymore.  This is likely due to relaxin, which is a hormone that decides it likes to relax all of your joints (not just those in the pelvic area which is quite helpful), so it relaxes joints all over your body -- including your feet, which is why my already huge feet may become even more monstrous.

  • Heartburn.  That is all.
  • I've learned terms such as "round ligament pain" and I've also learned that all these dang terms mean something (usually) different for every woman.  I'm not sure why, but the definition of round ligament pain never sounded like what I experience.  I asked at my recent appointment what was happening when I feel electric-like shocks on my abs (or where they have moved to).  The first time it happened I felt a physical touch and thought my cat had tapped on my belly, and since I've felt some strong enough to make me gasp, as if someone's whacked me with their hand.  I asked her if these were Braxton Hicks, even though it didn't sound like it.  The nurse told me it's round ligament pain, but Google and Baby Center have never described anything like this for me.  I'm sure I'll find someone who can relate eventually!

  • A constant backache has arrived... specifically while sitting for long periods of time at work or in the car.  Sometimes it's my lower back, often it's my upper.  I find myself grabbing for anything to place behind me for some relief.  Yes, the dog & the cat are safe... for now.

  • I gained 5 pounds in 2 weeks.  Thanks to my bi-monthly appointments due to being high-risk for pre-eclampsia, I know this.

...AND I'M ONLY 6 MONTHS (tomorrow)!!  The "barely"s and "hardly"s above will become "cannot"s in no time.  It's just a matter of fact.  My, what a journey being pregnant is like!  I have called it a rollercoaster ride before... one that you want to get off of but will last 10 months instead.  This was when I was in the "morning sickness stage".  I do not feel like that any longer.  It is so much fun in the 2nd trimester, while you're feeling well and starting to feel all the fun sensations of a growing baby.  Kicks, tumbles, hiccups (first felt this morning) and finding out the gender surprise.

As I approach my 3rd trimester, though, I realize being pregnant is more of an identity crisis.  At least for me it is.  I often forget I'm a walking methane balloon.  Sometimes I hop onto the bed only to feel my belly ache in response and remind me I'm pregnant.  Sometimes I try to bend over and pick up something, but my weight reminds me -- you can't do that!  Not so fast!!  Slow going is where it's at for my body.  I'm going to a bar tomorrow night for my friend's birthday, but I'll be reminded that I cannot partake in anything alcoholic.  Strict diet for me!  Oh, and did I think I could get up all by myself?  I need Greg's assistance to get up from the bed/couch/floor/everywhere at an increasing rate.

I rest my case: I am an old man.  Ladies don't fart.  So call me Walter.  Jenelle will hopefully be back next Spring. ;) And please know that I am just poking fun.  Though pregnancy is so much more than I bargained for (I have at times wished for a period cramps instead), I know I am totally blessed to have this opportunity to grow life inside me. :) I have been trying to keep my complaints to a minimum (well, maybe not around Greg), but I thought I'd get this all out on "paper" and have a laugh!  I know my little girl will be worth it... 1,000 times. :)

23 weeks & 6 days

This was the 1st time I felt my baby girl hiccup.  I had to look it up on BabyCenter to verify if I could really be correct.  It was like a heartbeat inside my belly, rhythmic and lasting only about a minute.  It was so cute. :) I now feel her get them at least once a day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baby Romero's Gender Reveal Day! (November 5th, 2011)

Two weeks has flown by.  We've known for TWO WHOLE WEEKS now that you're a baby ______! :) We are beyond thrilled.  We went out the very next day and bought you your first outfit.  We've been trying to give you a name that can be/do many things in one: encapsulate how we feel about you, ring love in our ears, drip off the tongue like honey (okay maybe that's a little much)... and most importantly, be able to sum up the most wonderful person in the world.  It's a very hard task, naming a new human!  We bought two name books and spent a long night at Barnes & Noble last week, but aren't there quite yet.  Your Dad and I think we may have it... we may have actually had it a couple months ago... but we're waiting to really know for sure.  Even if we do, we still need to then find its middle name match.  Naming and preparing the house, that's what we've been up to for the past two weeks.  Now, on to your Gender Party pictures!

Our readers will find out the surprise gender reveal color -- pink or blue -- after looking at the pictures of your party below.  To read the blog I wrote the day before, about the days after our anatomy ultrasound leading up to the party, click here!  The back-story really made the Big Day a lot of fun.  We will definitely have a story to tell for the rest of our lives. :)

Pictures of Your Gender Party



Your cake was designed by Mom & Dad and made by Jennywenny Cakes!  We think she executed the cake's design & deliciousness even better than we could have imagined! :) 

 I got the simple "rows of hearts" idea from a picture after searching "heart cake".  I knew that no matter what, boy or girl, you were going to be -- and already are -- our hearts.  We love you so much!

The table was set in the kitchen, all ready for the 1st slice reveal.

Little blue booties... would we use these someday for you?
The cake top's detail.

Some treats on the table for some laughs... Baby Ruth candy bars and Sugar Daddy caramel pops.

Daddy helping in the kitchen.  Notice he's reppin' Team Pink. (I was wearing blue.) Here he's cutting up the avocado for the "Cravings Table". ;)

The hutch was set with a digital picture frame with rotating pictures of your life with us so far.  Then we set out framed pictures of Mommy & Daddy together from our home.  Two of our wedding pictures, and our engagement picture on the far right.

Venturing outside, we had the party-theme-matching drink bar & "Cravings Table". :)

 Jenelle's Craving Table, complete with all the things I've been craving while you've been in my belly.  The menu included: oranges (orange juice), Starburst (they had miraculously eased my morning sickness), jalapeno & habanero chips (anything spicy!), Mini Reeses (peanut butter and chocolate, together or separate -- especially peanut butter frozen yogurt!), avocados with Italian dressing (anything with Italian dressing) and strawberries (representing all the fruit that I've been enjoying -- especially cantaloupe!).
Detail of the menu cards on the Cravings Table.

Okay, are you ready for the reveal?

Scroll down!














Strawberries & pink whipped cream filling?!

We're having a GIRL!!!

We love you Baby Girl Romero!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bathroom Belly Shot #2

21 weeks & 5 days

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bathroom Belly Shot

21 weeks & 2 days

Saturday, November 5, 2011


A pic my friend Jessie snapped with his phone, minutes after we found out.  20 weeks exactly.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tomorrow is 20 weeks... and your "Gender Reveal" Party!

Well, little one, we got to see you again!  We had your "anatomy ultrasound" on Halloween a few days ago, when you were 19 weeks & 2 days.  We were told you're now measuring 6 days ahead.  If you reach 10 days ahead, they will move up my due date!  Additionally, you are weighing about 1 pound!  Wow!  So why have I gained about 15? ;)

The ultrasound technician was sadly having a bad day.  He was kind of grumpy and didn't like that you were so active (or that it was a Monday).  It's not your fault!  You are happy & healthy!  They told Mom to drink 32 ounces of juice, so that's what they get.  Dad and I got to watch you move around on the screen, but not as much this time.  The tech kept going down to your nether regions, and we didn't want to see anything down there that would ruin the party's surprise!  The technician called you a nickname that may have hinted at your gender.  We were bummed that he lacked good manners, but it isn't stopping us from having your party.  We still do not know for sure!  The show must go on!!

Dad & I ordered the food for the party on Monday.  We had a fun time planning the finances for the month and setting aside money for a trip to go visit New Mexico for Thanksgiving!!  Your Dad is so excited - and so am I - to introduce you (while you're in my belly) to your Grandpa Greg, Nana Patsy, Missy and your Uncle Sam.  And the rest of the NM family!  On Wednesday I ordered your "reveal cake".  I designed it along with Dad's help... it really is cute!  That night, Grandma Evie came over to our house and helped me cut out about 100 or more hearts for your party garlands.  Last night, Dad and I spent our date night shopping for last-minute party necessities.  We got drinks in all the colors of your party - red, orange, blue and pink.  Yesterday we posted the news about you on Facebook.  It was so wonderful, and long overdue.  I think I will take a screenshot of all the comments and post it here for keeps. :)

You're not very active today.  Maybe it's the rainy weather - the first rainy day of the season!  I hope you love rain like me.  Can't wait to finally know if you're my son or daughter tomorrow...

Along with your ultrasound, we were delighted to get some new pictures!

My tiny profile
My hands together, possibly trying to sleep?  This is how Mommy sleeps.
My nose and mouth from above :)
Waving "hello"!
A side-view of my arm

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 18 nearly complete

Here we are at 19 weeks tomorrow, and I'm weighing in at 11 & 1/2 pounds gained. Right on track since my 2nd trimester with about 1 pound a week. :) Wow, at this rate I have 20 more pounds to pack on!

Last night we enjoyed some salmon and corn for dinner. I washed it down with some juice, but had my eye on the green chile & cheese tamale before the salmon even finished cooking. Sure enough, I finished the delicious tamale off and it was time for dessert! 1 slice of peach pie (which Greg went out a got for me at 10pm one night this week) washed down with a tall glass of milk. This is getting to be pretty standard for me. Dinner, snack, dessert! Actually, it goes more like this: juice on the way to work, breakfast, snack, snack, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, dessert. :) And I love a glass of milk before I go to bed with my prenatal vitamins.

So far today I've had some cranberry apple cider on the way in to work, blueberry oatmeal, a strawberry cereal bar, 1 string cheese, a carne asada taco, 1 pack of Trader Joe's (DELICIOUS!) fruit snacks and now I'm eating cinnamon apple sauce.  Next up: a banana.

Here's a pic I just took at work:

Please note, I cannot button these pants that used to be baggy on me.  Thus, a belt, at it's very last rung, hides the fact that the tops of my pants are not buttoned. ;) I wish I had measured myself at first so I knew how many inches I'm growing around!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

17 weeks, 5 days

I don't feel like I have too much news to post, but I'm trying to keep consistent. :) Latest baby news... Greg & I sent out our "Gender Reveal" Party evite invitations last night. I am so proud of myself for not waiting until last-minute like I always do (which usually results in no party at all). I am glad we got it on the calendar and people have already RSVP'd - this means I have to follow through and actually plan it now! So... What is a Gender Party, you ask? It's a party where you invite your closest family and friends to find out the gender of your unborn baby right along with you! Usually it is done cutting a cake to reveal pink or blue inside. You ask your ultrasound tech to write the gender on a piece of paper, and then you can take that paper to a friend or bakery to make you the cake, so the secret is only known to them until the cake cutting! Some people have also done a "ballon release" either in a back yard or out of a box. It sounds funny, but if you watch some of them on YouTube they can be real tear-jerking moments.

I have some cool ideas I have scraped up with the help of Pinterest. Want to see some of my "bookmarks" on Pinterest for gender party ideas? Check them out!

We think we are going to have the color theme be pink & orange, our favorite colors & our wedding colors too. Here are some cool photo montages you can click on to see whole party spreads and to get an idea of what they are all about!

In other news, we bought a humidifier since it's been recommended to help with the stuffy/dry nose I kept waking up with. So far it has worked pretty well, so if you or someone you know is pregnant, I'd recommend it. It was a 2-for-1 deal because it seems to have eased Greg's snoring too! Woohoo! Only downside is that I came home to my cool kitchen clock lying on the floor. The 3M tape hook I have up there almost fell off completely, but it was just hanging there downwards... I'm wondering if it got too humid inside! Anyways, I thought it had a pretty cool modern design, and it came in all sorts of colors! We got orange. ;)
Facebook's still in the dark...! We wanted to tell one last friend before posting the video. Easy right? Well, that one friend happens to be our friend who was in Yemen but who just arrived in Ethiopia. We sent this video awaiting his amazement. This is someone who has asked us about children every single time we see him. To my dismay, he replied that his internet connection is too slow out there, but that he'd watch it as soon as he was able. Finally I decided to cut down the 9-minute video to 1 minute and see it that will work! Now just to locate a free night to do that... *cross* your fingers for tomorrow. Tonight's Date Night. :D

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Obligatory Belly Pics

Disclaimer: The belly in this photo may appear smaller than it actually is!

Seriously though, my stomach looks smaller here because I am straining to get my arm far enough away from my body to get the belly in the frame so my muscles (yes they are still there somewhere!) are squeezing it down a bit. Greg and I have been taking weekly pics of me in front of a drab door, smiling and trying to look pregnant almost every week. I thought it was time I took one all by myself of just the baby belly. :)

Here's me, 17 weeks along:

PS - I was so stoked that I could still squeeze into my hot pink pants this morning! I've been getting so tired of the same old pants that actually fit, and discovered these are low enough to fit under the ol' belly... for now.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Whew!  I closed my eyes and 2 weeks flew by.  I totally forgot to write on my blog, nevertheless the baby continues to GROW! :)

Since my last post, I have felt quickening!  What's that, you ask?  Well I didn't know either, until it was already happening.  Quickening is the first movements that a mother will feel in her belly.  I felt my baby's first movements around the 5th and 6th of this month.  I was in denial until the weekend, when he or she started kicking me like crazy (a.k.a. I may have downed a caffeinated beverage...).  I have been feeling him or her at least once a day, but that first weekend it was really often. You know what's funny?  The baby's movements coincided with some very moody days I had.  There was a block of 4 days or so where I was crying over everything.  I was being a big baby, so maybe I was passing that on to our little one.

On top of that update, we had another appointment!  Last Wednesday we got to hear Baby Romero's heartbeat for the very FIRST time!  To be honest, though, hearing is not seeing... and we've been spoiled by the 3 ultrasounds at the previous visits.  You know what else we?  I have officially gained 9 pounds since getting pregnant!

Today I ordered something I have been wanting for a couple years now -- a new camera lens!  I read a positive review in Popular Photography last night, and was elated to see that my ideal lens was within reach.  I was expecting to have to pay $400-$500 for a new wide angle, and I had no idea what to get.  It's been the #1 thing on my Baby Shopping List, and I'm glad it seemed to have found me just in time all by itself. :) This lens has exactly what I've been dying for, all in one package: sharp detail, shallow depth of field, beautiful bokeh, low light capabilities... and raving reviews about its portraits (newborns included!) and travel photos.  I am so excited, you don't even know.  Good thing Greg bought me an external hard drive for my birthday!  Check it out, if you're interested and a geek like me. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome! A new blessing & adventure awaits...

Welcome to our first real post!  Today I am 15 weeks and 2 days.  I have known I was pregnant for 77 days (since July 18th).  No, I didn't do the math, one of my pregnancy "tickers" told me all that!

It has been a long journey.  (The 1st trimester seemed to go by a little slower, if you know what I mean.)  I have survived the wait for the 1st appointment, the morning sickness (gag) and now finally... telling all the family!  Greg & I are so happy to have everyone now in-the-know.  We created a "reveal video" that was masked as our "4th Anniversary Yosemite Trip 2011" video.  At the end, we showed some bonus pictures of our life together to throw them off a little and ease them into the surprise/shock/punch-in-the-gut of a picture of a positive pregnancy test.  Here's the video, in case you haven't seen it.

Yosemite Trip Video = Surprise Reveal Video! 

The most exciting part of making this video?  We videotaped each time we showed the video to our parents, siblings & close friends... and now we'll be putting together a compilation video of all our loved ones' reactions! :-D

I used to be a fairly decent blogger back in college.  I wasn't great, but I was regular.  I don't know what happened, but I've tried to start up multiple ones since, and all have dwindled out -- and fast.  I'd like to at some point have a family blog -- and this may well turn into just that -- but for now, it will document this fun & unique time in our life.  The 9 months of the creation of a new life.  I am going to do my very best to stay diligent at making entries in here, no matter how trivial they may seem to me at the moment.  Greg, the baby and I thank you for joining us!  Please feel free to leave comments/questions/thoughts and be a part of this special time in our lives.

The following posts are back-dated to give you a sense of a timeline.  I wish I had started this blog earlier to document our 1st baby journey, but I'm just thankful I am getting it going now!  More than 1/2 of the pregnancy to still document. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First pictures that look like a BABY!

Alien jokes aside, what an attractive cranium I have! What could that be on the left?
A blurry shot of my profile. Am I a boy or a girl??
Look at my little hand! It's above my belly. Mom & Dad think I have a cute profile. If you look closely, you can see a bit of my legs/feet too. They are pressed up against the side of my home because I am jumping off the walls in here. My parents got to watch me jump the entire 30 minutes of the nuchal translucency scan. I was trying to show them that I am happy and healthy in here!

Monday, August 15, 2011

First picture of our Little One

The first time we ever got to see our child this is what we saw: a little gummybear.  We were so relieved and thankful to see 2 arms and 2 legs.  I could even make out the eyes!  The heartbeat was the best part of it all.  Honestly, I did not cry -- but I wasn't expecting to either.  In all honesty, I was not the most mature parent at this appointment.  I was a little unraveled.  I kept getting scared that there would be no baby in there... and then I was scared that the blob was not a baby... and then I was scared that there was no heartbeat.  BUT there was, and is, and I'm learning each day how to have more faith, and less worry.  My baby's in God's hands.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And then there were 3!

This is the day we found out our lives were going to be changed forever.  This is the day we were made aware of our baby's existence.  We had been unknowingly been parents for a month already!

Being the documentation-loving person that I am, I insisted that Greg go out and buy the pregnancy tests while I charged up our digital camera.  We videotaped ourselves finding out that we were pregnant.  What you are about to see is real, un-staged & lengthy footage.  Mind you I believe the timestamp on this video is 12:30am, but I still could it as July 18th.  We had just returned home from my nephew's birthday party.  It had been a LONG day of work and a party afterward, since Greg and I spoke over chat around 10:30am about the possibility and were dying to take a test ASAP. 

I still get emotional watching this!  Thoughts?