A New Mom Again—Eight Weeks In

It’s hard to believe our little Maia was born just eight weeks ago. Before this time I was all sorts of emotions rolled into one (tiny) ball. I can recall the feelings of excitement-fear / joy-anticipation / and giddiness-nervousness that plagued me in varying degrees during the weeks–and days–leading up to our daughter’s birth. I mean, how could I not be? It has been almost four years since I became a first-time mom.

Being a new mom AGAIN is a totally different experience (as it is with every woman, every pregnancy, every child). For me, the pregnancy this time around has been so smooth-sailing past the first 14 weeks (of nausea, vomiting, and even a one-time trip to the ER for hyperemesis gravidarum) that our OB sang praises to me practically every check up for maintaining a healthy weight gain, limiting my sugar intake (though it did not seem like it) and looking great all throughout the pregnancy. And I FELT great… No migraine attacks, no crazy heartburn moments, not even leg cramps! Even labor & delivery was easy (more on Maia’s birth story in a different post!) But in short, this pregnancy was GOLDEN! I’d not hesitate going through it all over again if it were always this easy…

Eight weeks in, I’d say there are countless moments of utter joy in being a second-time mom…with bonding times between Miggz and Maia topping that list. There are also times when things unexpectedly just hit you in the face, things that are to be expected–like the random meltdown moments from big brother Miggz (after all…he’s adjusting to a whole new role as a big brother and a whole new place in the family as no longer the only child among other things)–but that I have not necessarily readied myself for, I admit, despite reading up on “how to prepare the older child for baby no. 2” topics many times over the course of the last few weeks.

Eight weeks in, I’d say I’m now an expert in meeting the physical needs of baby no. 2, having gone through all the feeding-changing-sleeping routine with baby no. 1. I can distinguish between cries and can anticipate baby’s needs in a blink (for the most part). What I’m still learning is this whole new realm of balancing (before it was time between job and family, now, time between two kids). I must say though, I am LOVING every moment of being a full-fledged, full-time mom, thankful to not have the need to work out of the home and just concentrate and enjoy–even LAVISH–in the comfort of our home with not one, but two kids.

I’m loving it so much that, eight weeks in, I can say that I’d do it all over in a heartbeat.

Maternity Fashion 101

I am in my 22nd week of this pregnancy, and my thoughts lately have been on maternity fashion.

My hubby has finally unearthed my box of maternity clothes from storage, and I was excited to find some old favorites…classic pieces of clothing I am happy to soon wear again. I was also horrified at some of the items I found in the box, with thoughts of “what was I thinking” floating in my head. Needless to say, I’ve tossed a few old maternity clothes into my ever-growing donate pile of other clothing items, wondering why I’ve decided to keep them in the first place.

A lot of my maternity clothes from storage were summer clothes, since I was pregnant with Miggz in the spring and summer, and only for a little bit in the winter. I was happy to find two of my maternity jeans in there though…those would definitely come in handy.

Now that I am pregnant in the winter and will be through spring, I’ve set aside my summer pregnancy clothes for later on (and even post-pregnancy), and I am now loving all the inspiration I’m finding on Pinterest for winter-appropriate maternity clothing.

This would make for a cute, casual pregnancy outfit.

This would make for a cute, casual pregnancy outfit. Source: here.

I need to get me some similar riding boots NOW! Source: here.

I need to get me some similar riding boots NOW! Source: here.

This could totally work...minus the belt and heels. Source: here.

This could totally work…minus the belt and heels. Source: here.

The great thing about being pregnant in the winter in Arizona is I don’t really need to bundle up. I just need to be warm and comfortable, and to me, that translates into a whole lot of cute!

I love this mom’s ideas for dressing the bump in the 2nd trimester…

Check out this mom's post on her site for some inspiration on dressing your bump! Source: here.

Check out this mom’s post on her site for some inspiration on dressing your bump! Source: here.

And I didn’t know Forever21 did maternity clothing, but I hope they still do. Here are some 5 under $50 ideas from the Love21 line…

Maternity clothing from Forever21! Source: here.

Maternity clothing from Forever21! Source: here.

AND for some more tips and inspiration

Check out these outfits from this Maternity Fashion Guide. Source: here.

Check out these outfits from this Maternity Fashion Guide. Source: here.

I found skinny maternity pants similar to the above from H&M…they are SO comfortable! And reasonably-priced too!! One was on sale for $10 (I know…a steal!!), and the other was $35…still cheaper than most maternity pants I’ve seen, plus you can’t go wrong with H&M!

I have also found some cute new clothes from the Gap, some maternity and non-maternity, and…all on sale! Their stuff is really comfortable too, and I recommend scouring their sale racks–or online sale links–for some appropriate maternity clothing (buy a size or two up if non-maternity, or get your regular size in maternity wear).

If you read the tips from the links I’ve posted, you’ll find that you’ll get the most bang for your buck by:

  1. only investing in a few key pieces (comfy maternity pants are a must for me in the winter);
  2. buying some non-maternity clothing in a larger size–because you’ll soon find that just because something is labeled maternity, some stores charge a fortune for them like crazy, like Motherhood Maternity!! (I’ve found some comfy leggings at Papaya for $5!! Another MUST for winter pregnancy and beyond!!); and
  3. working with clothes you already own and wear. You’ll be surprised at the new levels of cute you’ll achieve by wearing your regular clothes on your bump. I’ve found this to be true for my tanks and cardigans.

Lastly…wear your bump proud! Pregnancy curves are beautiful and should not be hidden under balloon-looking clothes (unless absolutely necessary, like in the heat of summer)! Post-pregnancy clothing and fashion is another story…those I’ve got to find a LOT of inspiration for, but I’ll worry about that later😉

Cruising on the Saguaro

It was a beautiful day, and we decided to go on a relaxing cruise ride on one of the nearby lakes in the area.

This trip was actually not impromptu, but brought about by a LivingSocial deal I got many months back. It was for a 90-minute narrated cruise ride on Saguaro Lake (about 30-40 minutes drive away). It’s by Desert Belle Cruises (www.desertbelle.com) and something we wanted to try a while back. The deal was great, $35 for four adults, which normally would have cost us $80, or $20 per adult. Miggz was free because he was under four years old.

Saguaro Lake’s views is different from Canyon Lake’s. On Saguaro the views are more nearby low-range mountains and desert landscapes with lots of desert flora (and fauna, if lucky). Here are some pictures from our trip…

Miggz being Miggz.

Miggz being Miggz.

Grandma and Lolo came along.

Grandma and Lolo came along.

Miggz and I.

Miggz and I…LOVE this pic of us!

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Can you spot Elephant Rock?

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Beautiful desert flora.

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Arizona’s desert landscape.

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Ripples on the lake.

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Lots of cacti abound.

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Did you know that Arizona is home to hundreds of species of birds in the winter time? Hence, the term “snow birds.” We found some of them while cruising on Saguaro Lake.

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Miggz and I.

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Miggz and Daddy.

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Me at 21 weeks pregnant.

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It was a gorgeous day in the 60’s.

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Miggz and I by the captain’s deck.

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Terrence and I overlooking the lake after the cruise.

All Photos by Terrence G. Photography | Copyright 2012 | All Rights Reserved

My Poor Neglegted Blog!

I know I have not been blogging, and it has been AGES!! This is certainly not what I intended for New Mamma Diaries. So many changes these past few months, including us expecting a new addition to the family come May 2013!! We’re definitely excited!

With that in mind, I do hope to be blogging again–and even back-blog on my experiences with this pregnancy…after all, that is what I created this blog for to begin with. Even now, I love looking back on my earlier posts and see some stories of Miguel in his baby years. We are in a totally new realm of adventure with him now being in preschool (expect some back-blog stories on those as well).

For now, here is a quick-shot of me in my 19th week. Nothing fancy, just a spontaneous mirror shot from my iPhone taken last week…

Excuse the background mess...this is my in my 19th week!

Excuse the background mess…this is me in my 19th week!

A New Christmas Tradition

This was the first time we made gingerbread anything. I’ve wanted to try it for a couple of years but knew that Miggz was probably still too young in the years earlier. I thought this year was just right…he is three years and four months old, and can actually help out with the building and decorating.

Instead of making the traditional gingerbread house, we opted for a gingerbread train kit.

This is me doing a little prep work while Miggz looks on…he’s got his hands near the red and green M&M’s for easy access🙂

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And the rest of our photos chronicling what we hope would be a yearly Christmas tradition from here on…

Candy in his hands = candy in his mouth! Hence, that smile!!!

Candy in his hands = candy in his mouth! Hence, that smile!!!

Miggz helping me with the train cart's body.

Miggz helping me with the train cart’s body.

Create an annual tradition by purchasing a kit like this for less than $10 at your local grocery or arts & crafts store.

Create an annual Christmas tradition by purchasing a kit like this for less than $10 at your local grocery or arts & crafts store.

Miggz in action...

Miggz in action…

He enjoyed alternating between eating and decorating the gingerbread train!

He enjoyed alternating between eating and decorating the gingerbread train!

Detail shot...

Detail shot from above…

"M" is for Miguel.

“M” is for Miguel.

Detail shot of the train's engine.

Detail shot of the train’s engine.

This is me enjoying this activity, probably a LOT more than Miguel did!

This is me enjoying this activity, probably a LOT more than Miguel did!

The finished product ;)

The finished product😉

Can't wait to make another one next year!!

Can’t wait to make another one next year!!

Remembering the Shores of Jersey

It has been over a week since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast, leaving unimaginable destruction in its path. There is gas shortage, no power in most affected areas, and as I write this, another storm threatens the already damaged and vulnerable areas of the Northeast coast and its surrounding cities.

My heart still breaks, my eyes well up in tears every time I see photos and videos of Sandy’s aftermath–especially of the Jersey shores. I can’t even imagine what the people there feel, having to live through it…actually being there…seeing the mega-storm’s destruction in person.

We’ve called New Jersey our home for over 15 years, and spent many memorable moments “down the shore.” It is also home to the hardest working people I know–people who sometimes sacrifice self, home life, and family to make a more-than-comfortable living.

But as much as Jerseyans worked hard, we also played harder.

The beaches of Atlantic City, Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Sandy Hook, Belmar, Cape May (and many others) have provided a constant place of respite for many Jerseyans, including us. The Jersey shore–as any of the beaches are more known as–was always there for a good quick break at the end of a hectic work week (or work DAY for those lucky enough to live close by)…an ever-present escape, whether it be for a spontaneous trip or a planned mini-getaway.

Whether it’s a two-hour stop or a two-day long affair, we have spent many a good time and always left with many beautiful memories from visiting the Jersey shore. Every toe dipped in the sand, every flip-flop step on the boardwalk, every bite of funnel cake and deep-fried Oreo…each one was worth coming back to, no matter how many times we’ve gone before.

We knew the Jersey shore would always be there.

Yet now the beaches are gone. The boardwalks are now destroyed, sands have washed up to nearby beach towns. Even the amusement park rides are no more, either taken by the sea or displaced by the storm’s angry surge. The destruction is just unthinkable.

We were lucky enough to have one last quick visit to Point Pleasant Beach last May. It was cold, and we could not enjoy the water. But the atmosphere, the boardwalk, the amusement park…they were all there to welcome us–Arizona transplants deprived of beaches and authentic shore funnel cakes. Miguel had a blast at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. Little does he know we did too! It’s a playground for all ages…with sand and sea as its backdrop, and beachy breezes providing a constant reminder that nothing but FUN is to be had at the Jersey shore.

I can’t imagine my friends’ kids growing up not having these beaches to go to. I can’t fathom the thought of no more boardwalks and beach-side fun, no more crazy drives and wild rides, no more funnel cakes and deep-fried Oreos eaten while basking in the Northeast sun.

New Jersey simply has to rebuild its beaches.

And I know Jerseyans will work HARD to do just that.

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Our last trip to the Jersey shore (Point Pleasant Beach, May 2012). Miggz and Daddy enjoyed Jenkinson’s Boardwalk.

Miggz Transforms to Three / Transformers Birthday Party

Our son Miguel’s third birthday came soon enough this past weekend!

Two months ago, I planned up a Transformers-themed birthday party for him as mentioned in this blog post. I promised to do some DIY event styling for this…to much success (I think!)

I didn’t go crazy, just a little splash here and there of some of his favorites (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and the Rescue Bots).

Here are some photos from my personal event styling of my son’s third birthday…

Enjoy!

We welcomed guests with this homemade door banner –

I made this “transforms” photo frame and some cake pops –

The “transforms” frame featured photos of Miggz growing up (transforming) from birth to two-and-a-half years old, with a title frame in the middle saying the words “Miggz Transforms to Three” –

I LOVE how this frame turned out!! A keepsake we’ll treasure for years!

I made more cake pops! These were SO fun to do!!

These were candy-coated Funfetti Cake Pops. I also made chocolate-covered Strawberry Cake Pops…those went to fast that I didn’t have a chance to photograph them!!

I also made these small table-tent signs –

Another homemade banner…this one says, “Autobots Transform” –

DIY signs by the party favors –

The party favors –

Our only splurge…something I didn’t DIY –

Transformers Pull-String Pinata

I had a BLAST styling this party for my son!!

You can DO THIS too!!

Here are some easily accessible resources that made this all possible…

  • Transformers Fonts and Symbols – available for free download (for personal use) at dafont.com…they have actually added more Transformers-style fonts since I was last here!!
  • Autobots Images – simply do a Google Search which will take you to hundreds of images for Autobots/Optimus Prime/Bumble Bee images and symbols
  • Rescue Bots Images – also from a Google images search. Images found came from TFW2005.com. Transformers World…obviously LOTS of Transformers-related EVERYTHING from this site! I have bookmarked it for Miguel’s future reference!
  • Party Favor Cups – these come 12/$1 at Walmart and are actual cups! A cheaper alternative to those party loot bags…
  • Toy Water Guns – 3/$1 at Target
  • Transformers Party Blowouts – 8/$4 at Walmart
  • Truck-themed Party Favors – 48 pieces/$2.50 on clearance at Walmart. I opted for these instead of the more expensive Transformers-themed party favors. These toys are not meant to last, and are only meant to entertain kids at the party. They most often get thrown out once the kids get home, so why splurge?? (BUT I did get LUCKY with these though…not often you see an ideal party favor set ON CLEARANCE right before your kid’s birthday party…)
  • Transformers Pull-string Pinata – $20 at Amazon.com
  • Office and Craft Supplies – glossy photo printing paper, scrapbook paper, mailing labels, pre-cut card stock, roll-on glue, glue gun, scissors, markers, banner string, Scotch tape, etc are all things I had in the house which you can get from your local office and craft supply store

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