Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Week 31

For those of you who don't click on the baby countdown (in the right side column) to see how she is growing, here's an excerpt from this week (week 31):
"From this week on, your baby will continue to gain around ½ pound a week until
shortly before birth (even though it may feel like a whole lot more with every
step you take). Other highlights this week: Due to increasing space constraints,
your baby's arms and legs stay drawn up close to the body now, known as the
fetal position (oh, so that's where that name came from!). Plus, your baby can
now process information from all five senses..."

Isn't that cool?!? Well, the gaining a half a pound a week is a little scary, but the 5 senses thing is awesome!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pedersen Baby Shower

The day after the Rodriguez (Michael's family) baby shower, my family's side threw another baby shower for us. What love we have! Annette Bauer, a great family friend, hosted the shower all on her own with the help of cute Julie Rose.

Thank you, Annette, for all the time and fun energy you put into planning this shower. It was a gorgeous setting (Piazz del Panne) with wonderful food and caring people!

My mother is feeling my cousin-in-law's belly while I sip my frothy (decaf) cappuccino. Sarah is one month ahead of me and she is also having a girl.

Tiramisu cake. Need I say more?

The cutest little labels (this one reads: yeah, baby) were on these shower gift bags.

The menu. I took one of both the French toast and egg scramble. Yummm...

Annette, the master of ceremonies, leading us to begin some fun games.

Here we are, diligently trying to write down as many answers as we can to the Baby Celebrity Name Game. Did you know a celebrity named their baby "Pilot Inspektor"? Now I can't go wrong after reading that name!

The second game: Trivial Pursuit... Mommie Maren Edition included questions like: What was Maren's favorite childhood storybook?, What was Michael's favorite childhood food?, and What is the size of Maren's waist today?

My beautiful mother-in-law, Julia.

Annette procured beautiful flowers from the local farmer's market. Michael couldn't stop taking pictures of them!

The last game was "Create a Diaper Using a Roll of Toilet Paper"! Michael's Aunt Julie here is the willing model. Thanks, brave ladies!

My sister-in-law Aryn and her group went all out with their diaper design. (Did my mom's influence in this group have anything to do with the funky suspenders?)

Gift time! Michael's mom wrapped up some of Michael's baby shower gifts she received and used with him! Here is a little baby blanket-outfit that was hand-made over 36 years ago for Michael!

My amazing and fun Grammy Louise. She does water aerobics 5 days a week! I hope my schedule frees up some so I can enjoy that great exercise in the water in these last months of my pregnancy with her.

A fun, after-bath, towel with a built-in hoodie. Having a baby, and getting all this cute stuff is a little addicting!

This gift didn't come with a name tag, so I didn't know who to thank until after I opened it. Once I saw that the little shirt said "Azusa Pacific" I knew it was from Michael's cousin Meagan, who attend the college. How cute the tiny shirt is, huh?

Saying goodbye is such sweet sorrow. Thank you to all my friends and family who attended the shower. Thanks to Aryn who drove 6 hours to come for the afternoon, and thanks to India who drove from Berkley to attend! What a loving group of women I have. My sincere thanks!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Rodriguez Family Baby Shower

Wow!  What an amazing family I married into!  If one word could sum them up it would be: generous (not to mention: stylish, kind, beautiful, caring...)

Michael's aunt's Debbie, Carmella, Christine, and Ericka hosted this lovely shower at Pardini's in Fresno.  Close to fifty family members attended.  (This isn't a small family, if you haven't noticed already.  Michael's mom is one of 16 children, which gives Michael over 45 first cousins!)  

Beyond the company being superb, the gifts were so cute and the food was delicious!  It was a perfect afternoon, with my husband photographing the event!

Thanks to all who could attend!

Michael's mom, Julia, me (the pregnant one), and my mom, Peggy.  I give huge thanks to these women.  Being pregnant makes me appreciate all these women gave to Michael and myself.  Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do.  A mother's love is amazing!

Michael's cousins Emily & Meagan, Step-mom Jeannette and Aunt Julie.  Aren't they beautiful?

Scrumptious food!  

This jacket, from Michael's mom, reminded me of the pink girls in Grease.  This box of clothes never ended - it's amazing how many clothes my mother-in-law could pack in one box!

Gotta love hand-made gifts!  Michael's nana (grandma), Barbara, handmade this quilt for the baby.  What a precious gift!

Michael's Aunt Debbie and her grand-daughter, Aleenah.  Little Aleenah was so patient during the present opening time - which took a long time!  

Part of a cute beach-themed basket from the O'Master family.

Auntie Ericka was a real helping-hand during the present opening.  She kept things going.  Thanks to Auntie Christine for helping for the first half of present opening!  Also, thanks my cute little scriber and my mom for helping sort things.

After all my presents were opened, I got to give some gifts to the hosts and mothers who made this day possible.  I love this picture of Michael's mom: look at her expression, mine and then Penny's in the background - great capturing of emotion, Michael!

Aunties Christine, Ericka, Carmella, me and Auntie Debbie.  Thanks to these hosts for throwing a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L baby shower!  I can't wait to share our little girl with these loving women.

The famous belly rub!  I am sure my baby loves all the attention and love she felt all day long!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


It's been a while since I've posted on our baby blog, much to the disappointment of my better half-- that sacred vessel of life, holder of mystery, sacrificial host of divine creation, my little wifey. (I guess she counts as more than half at this point?) I just wasn't sure what to write about. After all, I'm not the one whose belly has swollen to Ethiopian proportions. I'm on the outside of this thing, bearing witness to it all. Yeah, I attend the birthing classes, read the pop-parenting books which tell me how I'm pregnant too, etc., but the fact is, the only big thing in my belly is last night's double-double hamburger and animal-style fries.

And while the wonderful reality of a 3rd party in our family has indeed hit home since I first heard her heartbeat and daily feel her Bruce Lee kicks and punches, "pregnancy" remains a little abstract. I think 99% of this is because Maren has made it so easy for me. I've heard about pregnant mothers wreaking vengeance on the fathers for what they've "done" to them, and I expected to have lost all dignity and most of my hair by now (maybe that'll come when our little girl becomes a teenager...). I assumed I'd be nothing more than an attending slave to a hyper-needy fatty (i.e., Brittney Spears personal assistant). But not my wifey. For the most part, she makes this pregnancy thing seem like a moderate hike. She (literally) pulls her own weight, as well as the many other "weights" in our lives: business, community, r.v. travel, me. Maren is truly amazing. Our baby is one lucky baby. And I'm the lucky paterfamilias.

Finally, I can clean out that belly lint!

Yes!  There are some major advantages to being pregnant.  Oh, how I have been waiting to clean out that belly lint that has been accumulating for the last 29 years. Well, now is my chance!  Michael felt my belly button yesterday and commented on how soft it was.  He said it felt like "butterfly wings" - that's the poet in him.  Well, I guess his only chance to get a "soft" belly button would be to gain 80 pounds or so...   

Monday, April 13, 2009

The total loss of self-dignity, part 1

Slowly, your pride and ego wears away.  Maybe it begins with not being able to fit into jeans that you could fit into for years, maybe it is when you grandma says, "Your rear is getting much larger, honey," maybe it comes with the weird rashes that break-out at random all over your body - but at some point you lose that self-assurance you had with your pre-pregnant body.  But nothing can really prepare you for the low moment that happened Saturday morning.  

I woke up early, 6:00am, and had a nice productive morning working on photography business stuff.  Around 8:30 I decided I would go to the 9:00 local yoga class with some of my friends and neighbors.  I show up to a divinely small class - just 4 of us - all ready to slip into tranquil, thoughtful, quiet stretching.  Class was wonderful, I felt very healthy and peaceful.  Only the sounds of breathing and very light yogi music in the background could be heard.  Then it happened - the sound that shattered the peace and still-minds of my fellow-yogis, the sound that broke that last little shred of dignity I had over my body - a short, but powerful toot!  

If you haven't been pregnant, or if you've experienced a different pregnancy than most women, you may not realize you have no control over the sounds that come from your tush.  Farting (which I much prefer to call "tooting") is something you cannot control.  After my body's little "expression" in yoga - all the women opened their eyes, looked at me startled, then laughed.  Well, at least I am making others happy - there must be some yoga lesson in there. 

Six Month Update

The new comment is "Wow!  You've really popped out recently!"  I guess it is like seeing your little niece who you haven't seen for 1 year, and being amazed at how much she's grown.  The growth is gradual and steady for me, but it must be weird for people who don't see me on a daily basis. 

I've gained about 25-30 pounds, depending on what scale I'm on - or what I had for dinner the night before!  I feel great - only had a pinched muscle in my lower back/butt region which made me limp for a week or so, but that has gotten better!  Sleeping is getting tougher, only my sides feel comfortable.

You Might Be Pregnant if...

... people stop looking you in the eyes when they meet you, and instead stare at your belly.
... the waiter doesn't even offer you the wine list.
... your mom comments on how "cute your little belly is" while simultaneously saying "oh, look how big your breast have gotten!"
... you start catching things on your shelf (i.e. belly ledge).
... you grunt every time you bend over.
... the only thing you want to wear is leggings and a big shirt.
... your husband wakes up in the morning, the first thing he does when he rolls over is feel your belly (not those things above the belly that used to interest him).