Tag Archives: maternity

Black and White Girls Night Photos

12 Jul

 

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So yesterday I posted my 30 week maternity pictures and Eliza’s portraits from our girls night of sangria, black and white photography and fun. The rest of the gals insisted I not post anything online till they preview the photos and make sure I made them look fabulous. After a quick review I got the go ahead to post the rest of the pictures from our black and white photos / girls night.

First up, is the lovely miss Amber, (aka, The Crafty Book Goddess) wearing her jersey from some sport or something. Yeah, when people start gushing about sports, that’s when my brain starts processing the noises like neanderthal grunts. Or maybe like the adults talking in the Peanuts cartoons. Sorry Amber! I just don’t… get it. Sports are not definitely not my thing! Lol. But she looks sexy and smashing, no? She took these jersey top /jeans and boy shorts photos for her hubby Devin. ^_^

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Next, Bree (aka Mama Bree) went all shmexy in the face with some modestly risque nightie shots for her husband Buck. All us girls spent the night cursing the inherent and effortless sexy she was oozing all over the place. I am blessed (cursed?) to have some very attractive gals as my friends!

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And last, here are some maternity photos of my good friend Crystal. I blogged about visiting her baby shower not too long ago. She is one of my oldest friends, and she is pregnant with a baby girl just a couple of weeks ahead of me! She’s been incredibly busy, but I begged and bullied and prodded her to come play and get some shots of her and her beautiful baby bump. So glad she came, I think the shots came out gorgeous!

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Baby Tessa’s 28 Week 3D Ultrasound

2 Jul

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OMG my daughter has the chubbiest little cheeks, I just wanna chew on them!!!

Okay, so I read that while babies can and will wiggle around in various positions in the womb, that most babies will get a “favorite position” and then stay in it for the majority of the time around week 20 to week 35. Then, generally by week 35, they get into the head down position (if you are lucky) and stay there. Well, I think I’ve figured out Tessa’s preferred position. I always feel her kicks and movements really low in my pelvis, and whenever she gets hiccups, I feel them all along my waistband, low in my stomach. I kept wondering, “What is she DOING down there that I feel almost all the kicks so low??” Well! I’m pretty sure this ultrasound answered that question.

Tessa was laying head down, facing outward, with her spine up against my spine. BUT! She was folded up on herself with her arms AND her feet crossed in front of her face like an X. So whenever she moves her arms or legs, I feel all the kicks and bumps super low, because that’s where her limbs are! The only thing up above my belly button is her little butt! It was adorable seeing her little tangle of limbs, but we couldn’t see her face at all through the ultrasound. She kept hiding her head with her arms and her feet. I would cough, and poke her in the face (the chick measured the distance from my outside skin to Tessa’s skin, and it measured exactly 1.5 inches) and she would scrunch her face up in annoyance and flare her nostrils and dig her face deeper into her hands. It was so amazing to see! Now I know what it looks like when I try to get her to kick:

Me – *poke poke poke*

Tessa – “Mom. STAHP.”

Me – “Awwwwww! She wiggled!”

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(That’s her little foot up above her head, and her arms are up in front of her face.)

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At one my point mom got her mouth close to my tummy and spoke to Tessa, and she turned her face towards Grandmas voice, and the gal was able to capture one full picture of Tessa’s face, and another one with half of her face showing, so we at least got to see more of her features. She has gotten SO CHUBBY!!! As of today she weighs exactly 2.1 pounds, the average for 28 weeks being 2 to 2.5 pounds. And she is somewhere between 13 to 15 inches long. Her heart is still beating at 150 beats per minute and all in all I have a PERFECTLY HEALTHY DAUGHTER!! I’m feeling so blessed. God is so good!

I can’t wait to show her beautiful little face to my husband. I’ll be sending these images out in a letter first thing tomorrow, so he should get them sometime next week. I wonder if seeing his baby girl will get him all choked up? Hehe.

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Wordless Wednesday – June 19th, 2013

19 Jun

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Winnie the Pooh Bedtime Stories

23 May

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For the last few weeks Jonathan has been reading Winnie the Pooh to Tessa at night. Winnie the Pooh has been my “future baby” theme / obsession since I was a kid. Since most of our books are still in storage, my bazillion antique / collectors / random copies of A.A. Milne’s works are out of reach, so Jon had been reading the books off of his phone. But I finally insisted that we raid the local thrift stores to find some actual, physical, “these are the first books we read to you” books. I was adamant that whatever we find we need, need, NEED to make sure we get her some old school Winnie the Pooh, and as a close second, some Alice in Wonderland books. And guess what we found?

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Reading to a baby bump is so very, very important. Babies begin to hear around 18 weeks in the womb, and from that point on they are listening and learning and remembering during the pregnancy. Their brains do not wait for birth to start absorbing information.

Bonding with your baby doesn’t begin the day that he or she is born, it can (and should) begin way before that. While it’s no secret that baby will know moms voice at birth (being constantly surrounded by the ominous rumbling thunder of Mom-God voice), but research has shown that babies whose father’s talked to them constantly while they were in the womb were immediately responsive to the father’s voice at birth as well.

I really don’t understand why dads are cut out of so much regarding pregnancy and birth and child-rearing. Our society is experiencing an epidemic in deadbeat dads, and when there are some amazing guys out there (like my sexy-pants Jonathan) who desperately WANT to be involved in their childs life, they are often overlooked or made to feel that it’s not their place by women who see an almost sacred monopolization on the parent-child bond. I saw a whole discussion on a mommy forum where the majority of women were scoffing at the idea of prenatal bonding between daddy and baby. WTF?!

Research has proven that babies can distinguish between their parents and strangers voices while in the womb – a newborn with an involved father WILL recognize her father’s voice. With recognition comes built in attachment, and when there’s a healthy attachment between baby and parent, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. This is the beginning of the establishment of trust, which is vital to personality development. Hur hur hur baby-hogging feminazis – daddies can and should be building healthy relationships with their budding spawn, too!

Anyway, one of the most upsetting aspects about Jonathan leaving in less than two weeks is that he’s going to miss out on 9 weeks of late 2nd trimester and early 3rd trimester bonding with Tessa. But then we had a rather brilliant idea. My friend Salena had given me her Lullabelly band, which she swears by. The Lullabelly band is basically a fuzzy belly belt with speakers that is iPod compatible. It matches the decibels of a normal conversational voice volume at 60-80 decibels. (See where this is going?)

So we have started recording Jonathan reading bedtime stories to be played on the Lullabelly while he is gone! That way Tessa can hear his voice every night. And we know she hears and enjoys his voice, because just a couple of days ago, while speaking to my belly, Tessa wiggled closer to his lips and started wiggling up against his face. He could even see little twitches outside of my belly where she was wiggling to get closer to him. It was so precious! (And yes, the cats are already getting jealous of the tummy time… they are beginning to treat my bump in the same way they treat books and computers – something to be sat on to intercept our attention and get ALL DA LOVES!)

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In addition to keeping up bedtime stories with poppa every night via Lullabelly band, I am also planning on playing music (mostly classical and Baby Einstein) to Tessa. There is no definite measurable scientific proof of just how much music benefits babies in the womb, but the research done thus far points to the fact that the efforts are positive and certainly don’t hurt.

We know, for instance, that children exposed to classical music in the womb are more apt to have increased positive physical and mental development after birth. When studied at six months, the babies exposed to classical music were more advanced in terms of motor, linguistic and intellectual development than babies who received no musical stimulus during pregnancy.

Scientists explain that with every event a baby experiences – including listening to music or its parents voices – it triggers neural impulses which strengthen intercellular connections in the brain. Babies have also been proven to show signs of recognition of songs played in utero, and to be soothed and calmed faster by familiar melodies and rhythms.

As a future homeschool mom, I plan on giving my kids every opportunity to learn and grow, and to do all within my power to make their environment one in which they can thrive. And in my opinion, that responsibility begins in the womb. Along with bedtime and music with the Lullabelly, I plan on chatting with Tessa throughout the pregnancy and being the crazy lady at the supermarket discussing how sometimes potatoes look so sad to my belly. 😉

Our Maternity Photos in the Sequoia National Forest

18 May

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Four years ago, on Fathers Day weekend, I went on a three day backpacking trip on the High Sierra Trail in the Sequoia National Forest, California with my dad, my sister and a guy that I’d met in Southern California and was quite smitten with. At that point we’d only gone on one sushi / coffee date, so when I invited him to go trudging in the middle of nowhere and spend a weekend in the wilderness with a girl he barely knew and her family he’d never met, I really didn’t expect him to say yes.

But he did. And after miles of climbing through meadows, traversing streams, skirting cliffs, and stargazing under the giant redwoods, we were inseparable. We generally calculate the date of our “dating” relationship from this time.

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The Sequoias – from the foothills at Three Rivers, to the redwoods up by Lodgepole – hold a very special place in our hearts. We’ve gone there for weekend getaways, for countless cosplays and odd photoshoots, and we even considered it for a wedding location. So it just seemed right to do our maternity photoshoot in the giant outdoor cathedral of the redwoods.

Yesterday we drove down with our photography friend Eliza in tow. I’m only 22 weeks along, (I pushed out my tummy as much as possible for the pictures, lol), but in two weeks Jonathan will be in Navy boot camp in Illinois and we don’t know if we’ll have a chance to take photos afterwards while he’s in A School… wherever that may be. That, and I thought having his long hair intact in some maternity photos would be something Tessa would love to see one of these days when she’s only ever known daddy with short hair.

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As I said, our good friend Eliza took these photos for us. She has such a great eye, and it’s nice to hand her the cameras and just relax and look pretty. I tend to get rather awkward when I’m not BEHIND the camera. Which is odd, I know, with all the cosplay modeling I like to do… but it’s different in costume. I can strike a pose as someone else. When it’s just ME? I don’t know how to act or what to do. Cosplay a pregnant lady in the woods? So Eliza did an amaz-za-zing job in making me look not awkward, and capturing Jonathan and I with our precious little baby bump.

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The beautiful Miss Eliza, a veritable Rambo of camera-hood – she’s packing with cameras, and she’s NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM!!!

Anyway, I’m in love with these photos. I never dreamed, while stargazing in the moss covered meadows of the High Sierra, that the guy I thought was so dreamy and perfect and wonderful would be walking those same meadows with me years later with a precious little girl who means the world to us, even though we’ve never met her. We’re still marveling over meeting each other, our brains still do not know how to process having a daughter. Our daughter! OH MY GOD. She’s going to be so beautiful. What did I ever do to be so lucky????

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