Streeeeetch & Extend Plus a Dressform

Thursday, September 30, 2010

One of the things I forgot about pregnancy (funny the things you forget) is how much you expand all over. Pants are a bit tighter in the legs. Anything with a waist is a little tighter, and at time uncomfortable. And the back fat you work so hard to get rid of or avoid comes back with a fury! What's a gal to do when she needs to extend the life of her bras w/o having to shell out $$ for new ones? Use these handy dandy extenders, that's what! I'd seen them before on infomercials. I saw them  JoAnn's thinking, hmmm...that's a random thing for them to carry, but last night, I was so glad that JoAnn's carried them. As a matter of fact, JoAnn's has an entire section dedicated to all sorts of foundation aids. It was overwhelming, cool, and one of those, whoa, I had no idea there was all of this out there. Anyway, I picked up a couple and since I hadn't used my coupons (what, you're not on their mailing list? you should be, the coupons are great!) and they expired on Saturday, I used them up and the final price was almost like buy 1 get 1 free. FANTASTIC!

And what of my review on the little do-dads? They are fantastic. I no longer feel like I'm going to suffocate and I'm not restricted to wearing my not-as-cute-or-supportive nursing bras. Thumbs up indeed!

By the way, September is National Sewing month and who did not sew one single thing? This gal right here. BUT, on JoAnn's website, they have dressforms on sale for $99!! A dressform has been on my wishlist for a long while now, and I just may splurge and get an early Christmas present. But, I don't know where I fit. I'm somewhere between the high end on the medium/small and the low end on the medium/large. Jacki or Sivje, can you advise?

Not Rape: Sexual Assault, Coercion, Statutory Rape, Molest

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Now for some unabashed truth. Prepare yourself to be uncomfortable, uneasy, because this post is completely different than most of my light-hearted posts. This is born from the original essay written by Latoya Peterson found here. WARNING: That essay is full of strong words, it is tough, not necessarily safe for work, and it will make you feel unpleasant things. Consider yourself warned.

But it is that unpleasantness I want to concentrate on. I was not equipped with that terminology. Many of my friends shared their not rape stories with me. I listened and held them. I comforted them, never sharing my own experiences. Yes, experienceS. Because I felt shameful, dirty, and powerless. Never once did I not feel comfortable telling my mother, but speaking it aloud made it truth and I just wanted to forget, and forget I did.

But as a mother to a daughter, with another growing in my belly I want to empower them so they won't feel this way, so they will have the words and not feel shameful. To know it is ok to be beautiful and not resentful for their beauty because some perverted old men give them looks that no 10 or 11 year old should ever feel. And you know, it isn't just with girls. Likewise, some of my closest male friends experienced similar nightmares and again, we found comfort in one another. Looking out for each other, having each other's backs, so to speak.

Thank you Latoya Peterson for having the words and courage to write your essay. Reading it, it opened some  wounds I had long since thought healed, but you never really "get over it," but there does come a point where it no longer defines you.

Review: Al Markaz in Carrollton, Super H Mart, & Homemade Gourmet


My buddy Anwar was celebrating his 40th birthday afar and we wanted to be a part of the celebration for him. To honor him, we headed out to Al-Markaz restaurant in Carrollton since he was the one who introduced it to us to begin with. It is an affordable Indian-Pakistani restaurant, nestled on the side of a grocery store. It is somewhat casual, very friendly and best of all, very good. We ordered the palak paneer, paneer tikka masala, mutton biryani, rice, and naan. They didn't make the paneer dishes very spicy, but they were good. The mutton dish was FANTASTIC, even if it was full of a lot of bones. Best of all, they meat was so tender on the bone, and the marrow inside of it was cooked perfectly and yes, folks, I'll admit it, I suck the marrow and I like it. Boo on you if you don't! That's the best part! I swear, you could make butter out of that stuff, it's amazing! So happy birthday Anwar! Cheers to you and I hope you felt the happy vibes coming all the way from Dallas. I would recommend this place if you are in the area and don't need anything fancy at all.

I adore this place, if only because it challenges me. I'm so far out of my element when I walk in, yet I feel so comfortable at the same time. Everything is well labeled in English, but just navigating through their produce department is a joy of its very own. To give you an example, there must have been about a dozen different kinds of mushrooms that I noticed right off the bat. There's an entire section dedicated to the vast amounts of tofu. And the amazing greens! Wow! No seriously, wow! If you are a vegetarian or want to try new fruits and veggies, this is the place for you. From what we gathered, it largely caters to the Korean population, which I'm not complaining because I am a fan of kimchi (thank you Teej for introducing it to me!) Best of all (at least in Mari's opinion) they have a Hello Kitty store and several fashion stores with shoes. I also like the music selection and fresh fish. No seriously, the fish is swimming in the tank, they kill it and prep it for you, so it is fresh. This is one of the places we've bought our fish when we make sushi at home. Good stuff! Check it out sometime. It is also in Carrollton, off of George Bush and Denton Tap.

Homemade Gourmet
 I'm a mom on the go and while I like to TRY to make time to so some special fun things (like crafting and baking and such), the past couple of months I've fallen short. One thing that I have been wanting for a long while, but haven't been able to indulge just yet is to make a yummy peach cobbler. I'd just about resigned myself to buying a store made one, when I placed and order for Homemade Gourmet's Texas cobbler. (Thank you again Julie!) She's my rep and reminded me that they are out there. This is my first HG review and I have two other items awaiting to be made so I can review those for you as well.

After visiting Super H mart, we were well stocked to make an awesome Korean seaweed soup* (which I later discovered has great brain boosters and is awesome for pregnant and nursing moms too). Even though I knew I would be full, I couldn't miss dessert. It's my latest thing, you know. Can't miss dessert! I whipped up this cobbler and it was SUPER easy and tasty. Between 4 adults who'd just gorged themselves on both homemade miso soup and seaweed soup and Mari who'd consumed the emergency spaghetti-O's (she still can't adequately chew the seaweed without choking and she demonstrated that immediately, which scared the ever living *%$@ out of me), we tore up ALL of the cobbler. TASTY! If you've ever wanted to try out HG, I would highly recommend you contact me and I'll hook you up with Julie's info. Good stuff indeed!

Korean Seaweed Soup
1 package of dried seaweed
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
1 package medium to firm tofu
chicken broth or stock
thin slices of beef (only if you want)

Cut seaweed into 2 inch sizes and soak in a bowl of water for 1-2 hours. Rinse, the water and rehydrate the seaweed. Since it is harvested and dried from the sea, there may be bits of it lingering just like when you get fresh spinach. 

Saute your garlic with a bit of oil or butter. Add your beef or chicken at this time. Cook it up good. Next, add your stock and water. Just eyeball it when you reach your broth to water ratio. Stir. Add your seaweed and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and add your tofu. Let simmer for a bit and serve. Goes really well with Sriracha sauce if you like it spicy!

**I was not paid, nor received any compensation for these reviews. They are just my opinion.

Rainy Day Fun

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I have been falling off the wagon snapping photos of my favorite 2.5 year old lady. We received some awesome rain that morning and because of it, I had to reschedule a family shoot. Not a problem, though, because I know of a very spirited girl that enjoys puddles, rain boots, and rain coats. Since the camera was already charged and ready to go, I took this opportunity to get her in action.
For the longest time, she insisted on keeping her hands clasped together like this. I thought it was cute!

Then, she was really getting into the splashing. It was then that I realized she must ALWAYS have a cute pair of wellies and a rain jacket. Just like her mama, she loves all kinds of water.

I mean come on, don't you remember how good it felt to turn a large puddle into your very own fountain of wet? Back when it didn't matter if the water would ruin your clothes or make you cold or whatever. When your mom or dad could shake a tree after the storm and somehow make it rain.
I can make it rain too Mommy!

It's moments like these that I'm reminded just how much I need to keep that camera charged and memory card ready to snap photos. It was for this reason I wanted a point and shoot and for the life of me, I can't remember where it is right now! YIKES! But luckily, my camera phone and the video it takes are pretty good quality, but something about having that camera in my hands seems to change my perspective on the world.
Kinda like how the world looks after the rain settles. :)

Reviews: Red Box DVD Rental & Wolfgang Puck's 560

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Many of you out there are probably old pros at using Red Box. I never had any aversion to them, especially because they are so convenient for me, but I never had any reason to use them because I have my handy-dandy Netflix. However, what is a girl to do when she forgets to load her queue with an awesome line-up of movies and she's trying to save her pennies and avoid the $4.99 or $5.99 On Demand option? Well, she scours the Internets for a free Redbox code and decides to FINALLY check them out. Unbeknownst to me, they also have a feature on their site that will tell you which Redbox has the movie you are looking for. While I wanted to rent Letters to Juliet, I knew I didn't want to subject my husband to that level of estrogen (c'mon, in 6 months he'll have a house FULL of it, totally outnumbered!), instead we rented Prince of Persia and it didn't suck as much as I thought it would. I actually liked it. And I'll totally do a full review if you would like me to, but I'm just not sure if any of you out there actually read my HDMRs and benefited from them. Anyway, the entire process was ridiculously easy (even returning it!) and best of all, it was free. My only complaint was that while I was waiting in line to use the machine the guy before me was not only taking forever, but kept farting (LOUDLY) like he was having some serious issues. Ok, now if you have to do that, I understand that it is natural and we were in the open air, but really dude? Really? What are your thoughts on public flatulence?

Reunion Tower

 Ok, first of all, let me break it down for you. We were going there to celebrate Primo's birthday, and as some of you loyal followers know, he is a bonafide chef. I like celebrating his birthday with him because not only do we have an excuse to get dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant, but we get to talk about the food and wine like we know what we're saying, because quite frankly, he does know what he's saying, sometimes I just get lucky and Don has actually learned about food and wine. Being pregnant, my tastes have changed and my olfactory senses have heightened which almost puts it on the same level as Simon's. He booked a reservation for 8, 7 adults and a child. Yes, we took Mari with us. We knew she would probably want to taste some of the food, but would probably want her own food and since we were splurging, she was treated to McDonalds (don't judge). Yes, we are those people. We were all dolled up and due to some heavy traffic and such, our 6:30 reservation was actually pushed to 7 and when we arrived, our table wasn't even ready. We had to wait on the floor level lobby because children are not allowed in the bar area (which we later discovered immediately greets you when you walk off the elevator. 

We are seated at 7:10 and on the way up, are happy to learn that the $10 valet we used was discounted to $5, and the parking lot would have cost $5. Score for not having to walk up a hill! We piled ourselves into a round booth that fit 5 adults and Mari at the corner. We were crammed in there. For some reason, the acoustics in there were horrible, so it made it difficult to hear anyone that you were talking to. We perused the menu when we asked the server if they had a sushi menu. Why they didn't bring it out with the other menus, I have no idea. Nothing on their sushi menu seemed remarkable, except for the homemade pickles. Also, they didn't have any fantastic non-alcoholic drinks. Hmmm...We FINALLY ordered our meal at 7:45, which granted, it took us a couple of minutes to decide our entire meal, since they didn't want to just take our starters, but rather order our entire meal at once for timing purposes. I asked for the homemade pickles and totally threw out caution and ordered hamachi sashimi with a jalapeno. Don asked for the crab and lobster shu mai. I must say, THANKTHELORDBABYJESUS that we stopped and bought Mari the McDonalds because her remaining fries tied me over by the time we got our food. Which was close to 8:40!!! I'm all for fresh, but seriously, how long does it take to cut a sliver of yellowtail tuna and slap it on a one inch bed of rice with a jalapeno slice? The most complex dish at the table would have been the fresh calamari, but I hardly think it would have taken that long. And unfortunately, when Don got his shu mai, it was too, too salty and soggy? Seriously, the microwave shu mai we have at home sometimes was better. blech! However, the calamari was spot on and flavorful. My sushi was a dream and the pickles were fun too! 

By the time our main course came out (close to 9:30), Mari had already finished Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and was well into Alice. She was being such a good kiddo considering we were sitting at 2 hours past her bed time. Warning: if you order the sea bass from their menu, it is an ENTIRE sea bass. They carve it for you at your table and it is quite a sight. If you aren't prepared for it, though, you will totally be freaked out by it. I ordered the peppered beef and it would have been perfect if I could have ordered it rare. However, I since I cheated with the sashimi, I stuck with the plan on the beef and had it cooked medium well. It was still good, just a tad chewier than I liked. I sampled the lamb and it was good. Don's curry was a COMPLETE and total bust. poor guy! His entire meal was awful! :( His wine selections were good and all smelled like they had a fabulous bouquet! My side dish, the corn with assorted mushrooms (unagi and shitake) and red jalapeno peppers was unique and spicy. It was a bit spicier than I wanted it to be, but Don enjoyed it. Simon's duck was too overdone, especially because of the way they had prepared it. And the aforementioned sea bass...Don said, "they somehow managed to turn sea bass into trout" *OUCH*

We notified them of our disappointment in the food, which they apologized over and over again. They took off those food items from the ticket and gave us free dessert (which was also a disappointment, aside from the baked alaska!). It was 10:30 when we made it to our car, which was wonderful because we were able to spend so much time with our loved ones (in a really, really confined space), but sucked because it shouldn't have taken that long. All-in-all, I was really disappointed by our culinary experience and their bathroom (which were a wreck, which they later cleaned, but they shouldn't have to be prompted. It was like being at a bar on a Saturday night that's how dirty it was). The view was incredible. The staff was friendly, heck, the manager even found a band-aid for Mari when she got a bite while we were there (as did I, so how in the world were there mosquitoes that high up?). The wines were superb. The food, blech! I hate having to spend money (and at full price, THATKINDOFMONEY) on food that I know with Simon's help, we could make at home.

I would recommend this place as a first date, quick meet with friends for drinks and sushi. The sushi looked spot on and I tasted a california roll that was good. Not divine, mind you, but good. I give this a sideways thumb, since I can't commit to giving it a complete and total thumbs down. But I do give our little one two thumbs up with the way she behaved at the restaurant and for being an overall trooper.

*I was not paid by either to write a review for either item mentioned today. These are just my opinions for you all to take or leave.

Drumroll please...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today I had a genetic screening for Tesla. Like any test that I can't study for, I was nervous. However, I prayed and prayed and prayed about it and the nerves seemed to calm themselves. When I walked into the specialist's office, I felt even calmer. Because of the time of the test, I went alone. This was simultaneously exciting and nerve wracking. Immediately into the test, I got to hear the wha-wha-wha-wha-wha of the rapid heart beat and see movement too. It was so awesome!

The doctor asked me if I wanted to know the gender and I said, "Of course, if you can tell!" To which she told me she had a 95% guess. :D Before she revealed it, though, she measured the neck and told me that everything was normal. I breathed a sigh of relief.

After I knew, I ran off to Market Street where the lady at the bakery is also expecting. I explained to her that I wanted to surprise my husband with food. She grinned, ran to the back and grabbed a plain vanilla cupcake and filled the inside with pink colored frosting. Then topped it with chocolate fudge icing. Lucky for me, she made two in case one of them was ruined. Sure enough, the lady at the check out counter tipped the container over and gave me a half response. I know my glare showed my anger at her, because there was absolutely no reason she had to take the cupcakes from me. I was handing her the receipt and she insisted on holding them.She very nonchalantly remarked, "I'll just run back there and grab another." To which I responded rather curtly, "You can't, she custom made it for me. Just forget about it." Thank goodness for the spare!

I also bought a brand new girlie onesie from Gap in case Don refused the cupcake. I know what it is like to always have hand-me-downs, so her first couple of outfits will be all brand new. In any case, just wanted to share the news with you all. :)

And if you were curious, I didn't care which gender we had so long as the baby was happy and healthy.

Walk, Do Not Run

I liked running as a kiddo, then sometime in middle school, I was introduced to punishment runs. Up-back-up-back-up-back-up-back for basketball, 6 down and backs for volleyball. I started to not like running. By the time I was in college, I missed the gym runs. They were replaced by outside pyramid runs on the track or infinite runs on the in the gym. When we were told to change out of our gym shoes, take off the knee pads, and lace up our sneakers, we knew we were in for a long night of running. One time, after a game, such was the case, and the coach had us on the line long after the stands were empty and the net down. She blew the whistle, walked out of the gym, and nothing was heard but the echoing sound of running feet on the hardwood floor. I remember being so angry. I remember questioning my sanity. I remember telling myself that one day I wouldn't hate running. One day I was going to run a marathon and not hate it.

Nine months after giving birth to my daughter, I once again questioned my sanity as I toured the boroughs of New York City. I'd made my peace with running. I claimed the title of runner during that process. I wasn't super fast, but I had the tenacity to hold it together to finish.

The time recently passed when I was going to do my first sprint triathlon. When we learned of Tesla, I knew there was no way I'd be able to keep my heart rate down below the recommended level of 165 beats per minute. I can't even lightly jog and keep that hr down. I just get too excited, too amped up. So walking it is. To not be a total shock to my system, I've been walking less than 2 miles at a time, closer to the one mile. I would like to work up to a comfortable 5 mile walk. I feel happier and the endorphins are mighty!
I don't mind it. I think I need to slow down. I need to enjoy nature and all that surrounds me. I need to listen to my body and give thanks for what it is doing. But next year, I'll be back at it in full force if my body allows me. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the walks with light weight training mixed, until I'm feeling up for improving my swimming technique (or lack thereof).

UTI, Oktoberfest, & Brunch

Monday, September 20, 2010

All week I'd been achy in my lower back. I chalked it up to growing a person and let it alone. The pain didn't go away and I noticed it felt worse when I was sitting with my back pressed to the back of the chair or when laying down. One afternoon, I went to the bathroom and noticed that not only was it a bit uncomfortable, but I saw blood. Immediately, I broke down crying. I thought I was at the start of another miscarriage. It took everything in me to pick myself up and take myself to a happy place. But then, after further investigation, (this is TMI) I realized that the blood wasn't coming from my womb. I was crying tears of joy for burning urination! What is wrong with me? Anyway, after a short visit with my massage therapist, she commented to me that I needed to make a doctor visit asap because she could feel my kidneys swelling. Off I scurried to the doc where, luckily, there wasn't any blood in my urine, but there were significant levels of leucocytes. By the way, I'm excited about my blood pressure 118 over 60. That's good, right? Anyway, she sent it off to be tested and also ordered a couple of blood tests to be sure we were all good. I'm not afraid of giving blood, but I've never had to give blood for a UTI. I was equipped with a pregnancy-safe antibiotic, where the pill is just as large as my prenatal. I've chugged so much cranberry juice, I don't need to wear lipstick, and my kidneys are no longer cussing me in foreign languages. Best of all, no burning urination and no blood either...AND a very happy Tesla nestled in for the long haul.

That night, we were going to check out the local balloon festival, but because of the rain we experienced, we opted to trek out to Oktoberfest. We don't miss it, so I was really excited that we were going for some sauerkraut!
It was hot and humid and I really wished that I would have worn my rain boots, but 'eh, it was fun! We took the stroller which was a total bust. Mari sat in it for about 15 minutes total. She really enjoyed the bratwurst and sauerkraut with mustard. She tolerated the turkey leg, but had the best time dancing and running in front of the VIP area with a small hill.

I was getting quite a bit light headed being in that tent, that it was time to go out again. I saved up most of my ticket stash for a full box of Helmut's Streudel - apricot, delish! We'd bought Mari an overpriced blinky necklace, but once she saw the rides, her face lit up! We had enough tickets leftover for her to ride 3 rides, but that would me that Don nor I could accompany her (parents had to pay to ride). This was quite a sacrifice to Don too because he gave up his beer tickets so Mari could ride. We were out of cash and the credit card ticket space was on the other side. Instead of buying more, we just made do. Here is the first ride:
It is a snazzy blue glittered motorcycle-4-wheeler that lit up and also made a honking noise when you pressed the button. She was really getting into it. Next up, she wanted to go to this dragon roller coaster, which looked awfully dangerous to me, and fortunately, she wasn't tall enough. That didn't matter, because there was this Nascar racetrack that the cars would race around and on the corners, would whip the passengers over with the force. I was REALLY hesitant for her to go on this ride. I kept hollering, "Hold the handle tight! Don't let go!" in my best mommy voice. I was really nervous!
She sat there in complete excited anticipation and when the ride started, she just stared off in a trance and in the noise of the ride, I could hear her faint voice masked. I couldn't tell if it was a shriek of laughter or terror. But then she came around the corner again and I saw her eyes brightly lit, radiant smile, head cocked back in sheer joy, and she was laughing with glee. She loved it. Stinkin' daredevil! As if I should have had any doubts!

Last up, was the carousel. Now every time Mari has ridden the carousel, she is very eager to ride it, but when it starts, I guess she gets spooked by horses moving around in a circle or something. She is usually very afraid and crawling up Don to escape. Remember, I said we didn't have enough tickets for us to ride. Luckily, the gentleman working the ride let Don go on and hold on to her. It was so nice! The ride started up and not only was she all smiles, but she even let go to happily wave at me from the ride. "hi mommy! Hi Mommy! HI MOMMY!!!"

We told her we were out of tickets and it was time to go home. She was fine with that. The entire way back to the car and in the car, she just kept saying, "I did it! I like the horsies! I like the cars! I go beep-beep-beep-beep! I ride the horse! I ride the car by myself! I did it!" This was definitely a good test for the fair! Definitely going to have to hit up half price ride night! (Sidenote: She's 37" tall, so she'll be able to ride the slide with me!!!)

The next morning, Don was getting up mighty early to get in a workout. I was hoping to sleep in, but once I heard and felt him moving around, my internal clock had me up and sneezing. I figured I could get in a good hour of work before Mari got up. I threw in my first load of laundry when I decided to lay down and put my feet up so I wouldn't wear out too early. After all, this was going to be a day of marathon-cleaning-cranberry-juice-drinking-water-chugging-massive-photo-editing! Oh yeah! No sooner had I propped myself up on pillow, that I had another sneezing fit. From the corner of the room, I heard a tiny voice say, "bless you mommy." "Come on in, sugabean!" She happily and sleepily made her way to the bed and climbed up. We snuggled for a bit when I handed her the iTouch to watch a movie while I prepped another load of laundry. After quite an adventurous hour of waiting for Daddy to get home, I called and he said he was finishing up and just had to stop for a coffee. 30 minutes after that, he still hadn't come home and I was worried. I called twice an no answer. My hyperactive imagination came up with all sorts of scenarios, so to calm them, I called our buddy that he went with and lucky for me, my beloved answered. Of course I barked at him some kind of mean remark, but I was mostly just upset at myself for conjuring up stupidity. (note to self: stop watching so much Fringe in the course of 3 days!) I let him know that Mari and I were going to have a breakfast date and he could join us. I was a hot mess, let me tell you. Sorry, no picture for you to revel but I was knocking on making Ghetto Red Hot's page. Needless to say, my attire was too fitting of a stereotype, especially to the semi-shi-shi brunch location we were headed towards. Frankly, I didn't care. I needed to get my grub on in the worst way and heck, at least my daughter looked great! The food, amazing. The service was spectacular and even when they cleared the table and took my overpriced cranberry juice away when I had to take Mari to the potty, the server gladly filled a to-go glass for me. Hooray! I was sad that Daddy didn't join us, but I was totally grateful that Mari and I had a mommy and me date. I need to appreciate these times, because not much longer will we get to have this completely dedicated time to ourselves so easily. I'm so grateful that she makes that precious time amazing!

And Tesla Makes Four

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I apologize for lack of postings and such. I've been a bit preoccupied, more than usual. Well, quite frankly, it is really, really tough to keep a secret. ha ha! But now I can write away and discuss the whirlwind of emotions and feelings I've experienced over the last bit. But before that, meet Tesla. The first pictures taken yesterday and Don already thinks this one favors him a great deal. Yes, sweetie, those are definitely your arms! 

Those of you loyal readers knew that in June & July, our social lives were beyond busy. I have no idea how we got through it, but a couple of weddings, a few birthdays, bachelorette party, and showers, and well, it was insanity. The week after the madness, we took a time-out from life, hung around the house and tended to boring stuff like eye doctor visits and laundry. We kicked our feet up, watched movies, and sat down to talk about our family budget. Oooh yeah, sexy stuff, let me tell you.

Anyway, a few weeks later Mari had a tantrum about a baby in my belly and wanting to be the baby. She kept pointing to my belly saying "no baby, me baby," so a phone call to my grandmother later led me to believe that I needed to take a test. We had a wonderful and happy surprise!!!

And then the deep dark creepies crept their lanky selves into the ever-increasing walls of doubt that began to come out of nowhere. I became hyper-paranoid and freakishly panicked. Each time I went to the bathroom, I had a full-fledged anxiety attack that left me sighing heavily and finishing up with tears at the thought of having to go again. It became really tricky to hide the puffy eyes and smeared make-up at work, but after turning to my Bible and giving it all to God, I slowly became less skeptical and more hopeful. It didn't matter what happened last year (at almost the exact same time, no less), this was a new opportunity. I made my peace and found myself talking to the baby, rubbing my belly, and wishing all hopes and dreams for a healthy child to the one growing in my womb. Each night I gave thanks to God for shedding grace on us again, allowing for hope and wishful thinking. I made the doctor appointment and all that remained was waiting to meet the jellybean.

I wrote Don an email, detailing why I'd chosen the nickname for the growing baby, Tesla*:

Our Tesla is a bringer of light and electricity. I'm so excited at all of the possibilities. I think of the long late nights and you know what, I say bring it. Bring it all on. I'm ready for it. Because I'd rather have it than not. Give me the nausea, the bloat, the aches, the pains, the stretch marks, the uncomfortableness, the insomnia, the tears, the blood, and snot and mucus and pee and vomit too, I'll gladly exchange it for that first smile, that belly laugh, the giggle rumbles, the baby babbling, the tiny feet, and the opportunity to pause and look at life all over again from a much brighter perspective.

Also, some of you may remember the Tesla the band from the 90s. They wrote a song called Love Song. While this song is specifically a love song for lovers, it made me think of the love a mother has for their child, or rather the emptiness felt from losing one, and the hope that is born from that void felt. 
It's gonna take a little time.
Time is sure to mend your broken heart.
Don't you even worry, pretty darlin'.
I know you'll find love again. Yeah.
After reading those words and hearing that song, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and I was calm and serene. I can probably count on my hands the numbers of times in my life I've felt that calm and serene...clarity. I was overjoyed and ecstatic, which gave me enough bravery to drive to the doctor, sit in the familiar waiting room, hold my beloved's hand while we walked into the sonographer's room, and forced my gaze to the haunting screen that delivered scary news a year earlier. With white knuckles, I stared at the screen fearfully. My heart pounded and I felt yet another migraine building. She looked at one ovary, then at the other, and with each turn of the wand, I just became more and more apprehensive. And then we saw it. There on the screen, a bit of a flutter, not just a dormant sac. She measured, flicked a switch, and happily announced: 160 beats per minute, 1.25" long. The tears flowed down my face, my squeeze softened, I shared an intimate look with my husband, and happily went to change. 

Thank you for your continued prayers, I feel them. We're totally over the moon! And both Mari and Guapo are so eager for the new addition. 

Psalm 66:19

*For those of you who don't Tesla the inventor, you need to click here and learn some amazingness! 
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