Saturday, March 29, 2014

What I Learned in March

Buying plane tickets to Asia takes hours. And hours and hours and hours. But, now we get to go to Bangkok for two weeks in June!

What the internet is. I've been wondering what the internet actually is for months. This TED talk satiated my curiosity by showing the thin cables spanning our oceans and large buildings full of servers and routers. Fascinating.

I need pockets. My phone lives in my pant's right pocket. There's even a Samsung Replenish shaped faded area on my oldest jeans and shorts. I recently bought maternity shorts that don't have pockets, wore them everyday for a week, lost my phone multiple times per day, accidentally grabbed Michael's phone a few times, and even dug around my purse only to find both mind and Michael's phones. I need pockets.

Why it bothers me when people say, "They're poor but at least they're happy." This article put my feelings into words.

It's quite possible to eat only five teaspoons of added sugar everyday. The eat less sugar challenge is going really well for me. I have met my goal every single day, though I plan on breaking it today (our fifth anniversary!) because I had a pastry with lunch and will split a dessert with Michael after dinner. I do find that if I dip much below five teaspoons, my energy drops. So, I've been shooting for four or five teaspoons a day. Not surprisingly, I find that I don't crave sweets very often anymore.

Practically everything in this second pregnancy happens faster and earlier. At 15 weeks with Grace, my belly was only slightly rounded. I was still another week or so from feeling those first thrilling kicks. At 15 weeks with number two, I am visibly pregnant and I've been feeling my baby kicking and squirming around in there - such an incredible feeling!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Five Years

Our anniversary is in just a few days. After five years of marriage, all I can say is this:

It is so good to be known, accepted, and loved.

It gives me a whiff, a sound byte, a peak into how I am fully known, fully accepted, and fully loved by Jesus.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Santa Barbara

The 3 of us (3.5 of us? 4 of us?) spent a few days in Santa Barbara this week. Here are a few words and pictures from our family vacation:

Grace playing in the almost-packed suitcase. Just after I took this picture, she pulled my underwear on her arms. I got some really cute shots, but will spare you all from seeing my undies!

Grace's first trip to the zoo. Michael showing Grace some South American duck. (Yes, all these pictures are of Grace, Michael and Grace, or me and Grace. Can't wait for the day when a picture is taken of all three of us. Or, even better, a picture of just Michael and me.) 

Crazy hair!

Mommy and a peanut butter sandwich on the beach. Life doesn't get much better, does it Grace? 

Daddy/daughter sand digging time.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Less Sugar More Health

love dessert, and I love sugar. In November and December I ate tons of sugar. Didn't we all? Then, toward the end of January, the pregnancy cravings hit and I ate gobs of sugar for another month and a half.

On average, Americans eat about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. According to the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association, women should only eat 5 teaspoons of sugar per day (about 20 grams or half a 12 ounce soda). Men are rationed a whopping 9 teaspoons.

I've decided to try limiting myself to the recommended five teaspoons of added sugar per day for an entire month. I plan on gaining the recommended 25-35 lbs during pregnancy, but figure it's best if those extra calories come from nutritious foods like whole grains, cheese, and vegetables rather than cookies and brownies.

I've somehow convinced Michael to join me in this challenge! Would anyone else like to join us in consuming less sugar? If so, comment below!

A few more notes:

  • I will be trying this out March 18 (the day after St. Patrick's Day) through April 16. I'll then re-evaluate whether I want to continue this practice longer.
  • Count only added sugar. Lots of foods have naturally occurring sugar, like the 20 grams of sugar in a large apple, but they don't count because they aren't added. Yay! Instead count sugars added into foods like sweetened yogurt, Powerade, and a fun size Snickers bar. Be on the lookout for sugars that have been sneaked into healthy foods too like whole grain breads and spaghetti sauce.
  • I calculated the amount of sugar I ate in what I considered to be a pretty good day just to see where I was starting from. My total intake was 10.5 teaspoons. The thing that killed me was the two thick slabs of marmelada (a Portuguese quince paste) that I put on my toast in the morning. I consumed 7.5 teaspoons of sugar right there!
  • Although this happens to overlap with most of Lent, I'm not officially doing it for Lent. Though if you want this to be a late and abbreviated Lent fast, go for it!
The following links have more helpful information including info on how much added sugars are in various processed foods:
American Heart Association.
Yale health.
This article.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baby #2... woohoo!

Our second kid will be here in September! A few thoughts in no particular order:

I am more worried than I was with Grace. I am worried about how my back will hold up during the third trimester under the strain of a huge belly. I now know how fast and furious and excruciatingly painful labor will be. May I make it to the hospital in time. I'm not looking forward to those first months of feeling like a tired zombie.

I am also so, so, so excited! Now that Michael and I have had the experience of slowly unwrapping Grace's personality and quirks over the year, we are looking forward to getting to know another little human. We both can't wait to welcome him or her into our family and to discover all of his or her little quirks, likes, dislikes, and personality over the years.

Grace and baby #2 will be super close in age - 18 months apart to be exact. To put that closeness into perspective: My first trimester & the last three months of nursing Grace overlapped. Also, I was pregnant with both babies in the same calendar year. In January and February 2013, I was pregnant with Grace. In December 2013, I was pregnant with #2. Was this planned? Yup! We've loved being parents and are ready to welcome another kiddo.

I've felt pretty exhausted and nauseated for the past two months. With Grace, I felt very sick, had tons of food aversions, and no cravings. This time around, the nausea has been more manageable and I've craved everything spicy, everything salty, and everything sweet. One day, I ate two spicy Ramen bowls back to back. Total sodium intake? 150% daily value. Oops.

Besides health for mama and baby, my main hope for this pregnancy is fitness. Due to lower back pain from hauling around my huge belly, I was pretty sedentary during the third trimester with Grace. It felt gross. This time around, I've scouted out local pools, purchased a maternity suit, and I hope to swim at least twice per week. I will also be doing as many pregnancy compatible ab workouts as possible to give my core the strength it needs to care for Grace and my awkward pregnant figure.

All in all, this pregnancy is flying by. We will eat, breathe, live for a few months and suddenly be a family of four.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Trading Hope

My dad started a business called Trading Hope that's all about poverty alleviation through job creation. Here are some words right off their website: 

"We believe in the power of business to transform lives... businesses are creating jobs and alleviating poverty and its symptoms all over the world. We work with organizations and small businesses to help them grow by providing access to larger markets."

Michael got me some beautiful jewelry and a journal from Trading Hope for my birthday back in January. Since my parents flew in this past weekend for Grace's birthday party, I waited patiently until this weekend to receive my gifts to save on shipping costs. We do anything to save a few bucks! And the wait was worth it. Here are my three favorite products:

Sundara Earrings. I'm kind of obsessed with turquoise/teal/bright blue right now. My running shoes, fleece jacket, and several of Grace's cloth diapers are all a bright turquoise-y blue. When I saw these earrings in the catalog, I knew I was getting them.

Veranda Necklace. A loooong necklace. Grace would love to play with this necklace, so I'm waiting for an outing without her to wear it.

Soleil Diary. I was drawn to this diary online because it's turquoise, but it was even more beautiful in person than in the picture. The pattern is a lovely brushed gold and the texture of handmade pages is beckoning me to write on them. I'm dutifully finishing the last few pages of my Moleskine journal so I can start using this one.

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