Friday, March 30, 2012


It's been forever since I posted anything about Hapari.  Goodness...months!
I do believe the last time it was mentioned was after the amazing trip to Florida back in December.

Since then the new 2012 line has launched, and yours truly has the privilege of being on their site.

Yes, it's still a thrill for this aging mom of a herd of kids.

Still keeping in touch with the fabulous Hapari people, and blessed with the opportunity to do local tv spots with them.  Still seems kind of surreal to go able to go have fun with these ladies!

It's a little strange to not worry about sucking in when on camera and instead work to push the belly out. I have to be honest-every time I'm with all of their cute models I miss my abs.  But-as cheesy as it sounds-I love that people get to see their suits on a pregnant belly.  I actually bought my first suit from them when I was pregnant, because I wanted something cute that I could wear for more than just a couple of months.  And considering how much fabric goes into most maternity suits, they always fit me a little weird, not to mention I get 2 months wear out of them at most.  With the cost of maternity suits, not worth it!  So I was beyond thrilled when I found cute tankinis, long enough to work with a pregnant belly, and flattering postpartum as well.
If I don't sound enough like an infomercial already, the fact that the suits I've worn while pregnant have retained their shape and looked fabulous after being worn with a belly just makes me love them that much more.
I do love too that my girls now have cute, functional, modest swimsuits.  Malia is built so differently from me (Alaina is like my little clone)-she is long and thin, and where I have a short torso, she has the opposite problem!  She is in that super body conscious stage right now, so I love that she doesn't worry about just playing and having fun in a swimsuit, unlike a lot of her friends who are tugging and pulling and trying to feel comfortable in a suit.

I swear I haven't been asked to say a single word about their suits, but I do love to share things that I love, and since I really do love their suits, I'm blabbing about them today.

With summer just around the corner, and warm enough weather that I've already soaked up some sun twice (in MARCH!!) this year, I thought I'd share my favorite suits.  You know, in case you're looking. (which if you haven't, you should!)
And when sales roll around, I'll let you know.  Because the only thing better than a product you love is a product you love that is on sale!

First, the allure suit (I'm wearing it above in Hibiscus dream), I had to snag this one in white.  Removable straps = no strappy tan lines!
(and seriously, Carla is the prettiest person ever!)

The cinch tankini-love the ruffle, and this thing pulls down into a dress.  So cute!  It's in a handful of prints, but I obviously love the coral.

I am madly in love with this style-the classic bandeau.  This may be the most flattering cut I've ever seen.  And I LOVE this print!  Can't wait to get this one!  Removable straps on this one too.

Again, the kona print.  Love the v-neck suits.  Love this print with both the turquoise and white bottoms.  Malia has the brown and white polka dot bottoms, which I think will look cute with it too!

And the classic bandeau again, in black, with the straps removed.  This suit truly is classic.  So flattering!

There you go.  Some inspiration to go pick a fabulous suit for this summer.

I got myself some of the tummy tuck bottoms that everyone raves about...looking forward to seeing how they live up to the hype this summer.  With baby due right when summer starts, I'm going to need all the help I can get in the muffin top department this year!  I've heard nothing but amazing things about them, can't wait to give them a try.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Two years ago

It's crazy how it feels like two years have flown by, yet it feels like forever ago.

It was March 25th that we went in for an ultrasound.
Just a routine thing, something we've been through so many times before.
The crazy anticipation of "is it a boy or a girl?!" was already alleviated by an earlier ultrasound at 15 weeks.  I succombed and became one of those women I've always made fun of that goes to the mall for an ultrasound.
This ultrasound took a long time.  We chalked it up to the student.
It  I chalked it up was because I had expected that baby to be a girl from the day that second line appeared and that I still hadn't adjusted to it being a boy.

I specifically remember at one point turning to Aaron and saying "well, no bright spots, that's good", as we've had a couple of little things that raised flags with a couple of other kids in the past.  Always very minor, always clearing up on their own as expected.  I think I was trying to break the awkward silence that dragged on for so long in that room.

I walked out feeling guilty that I wasn't excited and giddy the way I have been after some of my other ultrasounds.

Aaron went back to work, I drove home and stopped at a Chinese restaurant to get the egg rolls that I'd been craving for days.

I got home and took these pictures, to introduce #8 to the world.

As I was taking these pictures, the phone rang.  It was my midwife.  And the words that will echo in my head for the rest of my life.  "There's something wrong with your baby's brain".  She wanted to discuss things in person instead of over the phone.
I still get that nasty drop in the pit of my stomach when I recall that moment.

The days after that dragged on, eternally long.  The uncertainty was torturous some days.

Two years later I look back at the things I've learned.  About life, and about myself.

I look at this little miracle

and my heart leaps with joy for the blessing it is to be his mom.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

30 weeks, then and now

I've been horrible at journaling this pregnancy.  Last time around I recorded every little detail.  I have a box full of info and pictures from every appointment, and a separate personal blog to record everything.

This time around...I have a million excuses.

Dear daughter in my womb:  Please don't hate me and feel slighted.  It will all come full circle I promise.  One day the older kids will complain about how spoiled you are at the end of the family, how you get away with things that Mom and Dad would never have let them do and have so many more privileges.  Just wait.  I promise I'll make up for being a total slacker at recording every minute of my pregnancy with you.

Something struck me this week as I headed to my 30 week appointment.
No, not that I'm already 30 weeks (Whoa!  Where did the past few months go?!), but the difference in pregnancies.

Last time around at 30 weeks, my appointment was a few hours long.  A very thorough ultrasound with lots of measurements and lots of details.  Full anatomy scan and growth measurements.  The regular pregnancy check up fun (step on the scale, pee in a cup, bp check, all the good stuff), and a run down on "how are things?" with the midwife.  Then a meeting with our perinatologist with the latest of what we could and couldn't see with today's ultrasound.  With how measurements are stacking up on baby's growth curve.  Numbers on how much his head has grown, how much his ventricles have expanded, how much fluid has distorted the view via ultrasound.  Thankfully that was followed with how great he was looking and how active he was, how optimal things looked for his condition.  My 30wk appointment last time around also included an MRI.  That was not the most fun thing I've ever done.  Not the worst, but for someone who is already slightly claustrophobic to be rolled into a little tube while sporting a seriously expanded's not something I'd like to repeat.
Reading back on the last time around is sobering.  Every day was a question.  Every morning when I woke up I laid in bed waiting for Sam to move, to prove to me he was still there.  There was a lot of soul searching, a lot of wondering.

"I wonder if I am up to the task before me. I wonder if that task for me is having the strength to let go, or the strength to carry on. I wonder how much time we will have with our son; if it will be minutes, days, or years. I wonder how it will affect our other children. I wonder which drs he will prove wrong....will it be the drs who presented the worst case scenarios in the beginning, or those who have been more hopeful and encouraging."

Oh how different things are now!  My 30 week appointment this time was 15 minutes-the regular run down.  And that's it.  Well, aside from my midwife laughing about me still using a hair elastic to keep my pants together and encouraging me to take the plunge and get out the maternity pants and reminiscing about how much she loved the giant stretchy panel.  And her trying to convince me to come up with some complaint.  I finally came up with the fact that I'm getting some acid reflux which is annoying.  And the fact that my running is starting to taper and my distances drop.  She was glad that I came up with something to complain about and then we laughed about what my complaints are.

For those of you who are pregnancy obsessed like I am, here is the rundown I so faithfully logged each week last time around:
Weeks: 30
Weight gain: 30lbs (exact same weigh-in today as last time around at 30wks!)
Maternity Clothes: Nope, not yet.  Holding on to a few last pair of pants that still work (without elastics on the button!), but likely to give in and take the plunge within the next two weeks or so.
Sleep: For the most part, like a rock.  Thank goodness!
Best moment this week: 4 miles with the double jogger, with Lincoln (5) and Sam!  Lincoln is heavy.  But I finished feeling pretty darn tough.  Also, Aaron finished this quarter of school this week!  Almost done!  YAY!  Oh, and doing Hapari tv spots is fun with the belly! No worry of sucking in, making an effort to stick the belly out instead.  Good times.
Symptoms: Expanding girth.  A little acid reflux.  I am beat by the end of the day but feel great otherwise!
Movement:  So much!  I love every little poke.  I love that she is so strong and I can feel her limbs poking around and rolling along the inside of my hip.  I love watching my belly jump.
Belly Button: Ah, the sunrise.  Thanks to the hernia (that manifested at the very end of pregnancy #6), it's out on the top, flat on the bottom.  But the hernia hasn't grown at all!
Attitude: Would this be a better question for Aaron to answer?  I can recall only one really hard day this pregnancy.  Otherwise, I just feel so relieved and grateful that everything is fine.
Food Cravings:  Yes.  I'm always hungry.  I particularly love fruit right now, especially strawberries.  Also cheese sticks are fabulous.
Food Aversions: As is typical for me during pregnancy, red meat isn't so great.  A lot of days candy turns my stomach too.  I know, pick your jaw up off the floor.
Gender: As confirmed three times now, girlie girl!
Labor Signs: Nada.  Cervix of steel staying true to it's reputation, which is great for running.  Plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions, which take me back to reminiscing about having tight abs....
What I miss: My regular jeans, hard workouts
What I'm looking forward to: Every day left with this little girl inside me, and eventually holding her in my arms.  Labor/delivery without all the medical worry from last time.  Kids are out of school in 10wks!
Weekly Wisdom: Life itself is the greatest fairy tale
Milestones: Hitting the 30s.  Single digit weeks countdown.

How could I possibly complain?
I have no constant fear about my baby this time.
We have done more ultrasounds than normal, just to make sure everything still looks good since there is an increased risk in hydrocephalus and brain abnormalities once that has occurred, and everything looks perfect.

I'm a little annoyed that with an anterior placenta (it's attached up front) I don't see as much crazy baby movement as I normally would, but this little girl is still fabulously active!  There is no doubt that she is thriving.  A fact confirmed by the last ultrasound pictures of her face, her cheeks in all their Augustus Gloop-like glory.

To have to think up complaints, and have them be so ridiculously minor, I'm feeling as blessed as I could possibly be!  To not be continually worried about how soon we need to get baby out leaves me (for now) totally fine with her hanging out till her magic due date rolls around.


Quote of the day

It's been a very very long time since I have shared one of my husband's fabulous quotes.  Which is too bad because with the lack of sleep and crazy hours he's been keeping, there have been some good ones!

Now that this insane quarter with it's 20+ hour days is drawing to a close, we've decided (ok, he's, because I've nagged him to death) that it's time to change some of his daily habits.  Time to eat better, get back to working out, and stop being miserable in that whole general health department.  Today he embarks on a 10 day smoothie fast.  After getting him to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with me he was interested in trying the juice fast, but since we invested years ago in a Blendtec and don't feel like investing in a juicer at the moment, he's going the smoothie route.  Boy is about to have a serious system overhaul.

It's time.  Well beyond time.
Which was proven to me when I was discussing his eating habits with him last week, and how he feels throughout the day.  He mentioned that he always feels nauseous between 5 and 7 am.  (He starts the day between 4-4:30)
"Well, lets look at your eating in the morning.  When do you eat breakfast?"
"Um....on Wednesdays."
"What?  What do you mean 'on Wednesdays'?"
"Well, that's the day we go on breakfast burrito runs at work.  So I eat breakfast on Wednesdays."



Monday, March 19, 2012

Knowledge Bowl

Well, as predicted, I had to skip one of the races I really wanted to do.  The local half marathon that winds through my little city, that continues to evade me for the third year in a row.  Two years ago I was also pregnant, but stil ridiculously sick all day and all night and no where near up to running 13 miles.  Last year the kids had a Knowledge Bowl competition.  This year the race fell victim to Knowledge Bowl again.  Curse my kids for wanting to be involved in extracurricular activities and learn things!
(please note the sarcasm and spare me the hate mail)

This year was Taylor's first year participating, and as a sixth grader it's also his last.  It was also Jacob's first year.   And it was Alaina's third year, which is kind of fun because we can compare to how things have gone in the past and what she has learned about the competition and process along the way.

Plus this year their shirts were so bright we didn't have to worry about losing any kids, and they will make great emergency flags.  Maybe they figured if they couldn't blindside the other teams with their knowledge, they would just try to blind them?

(Taylor on the right)

In elementary school there is a 5th/6th grade competition and a 3rd/4th grade competition, which meant that Alaina and Taylor were in the same group this year.  We asked that they be on separate teams, which I think worked out well for both of them considering their differences in responding to competition like this.  That meant that Aaron and I divided to conquer, so we switched off who watched what team.

(Alaina in the middle)

This year's subject was science.  It's interesting to sit there and think "Yes!  I knew that question!" and then realize that you are excited for knowing questions geared toward elementary school kids.  It's worse to sit there and have NO clue what the answer might be and realize that a 3rd grader didn't even have to hear the entire question to know the answer.  Nothing like feeling dumb thanks to an 8yr old.

(Jacob on the far left)

With three kids on three different teams, we got to see some great participation from our kids.  We got to see each of their teams win some rounds by a huge margin, and on the flip side got to see them get stomped as well.
I'm one of those horribly mean parents who like to watch my kids' teams get stomped at least once, just so they have the experience of knowing how it feels.  It's a good chance to learn how to be a good winner and how to be a good loser.  Not to mention how to better prepare for competition next time around.

But the darn pregnancy hormones did get me this year...after the first round of the 3rd/4th grade competition I was walking down the hallway and saw one boy who had just had the experience of his team losing horribly.  Having been there with my own kids, it was hard to see him so hurt.  And even after hurrying on by, I was fighting tears in behalf of this kid I've never met, hoping that he would have the chance to feel the happiness of being on the winning side too.

As much as I really wanted to do my own thing and log another 13.1, it was a treat to be there with my kids instead.  There will always be another race, and my kids were reminded that with as much as their crazy mom loves to run, she'll always love them more.


Nope, not some deep post about the meaning of life.
Not a rundown of how crazy life is.  Though it is.  But it is for everyone isn't it?
Not even a day in the life post, but I might do that again one day.  People seem to find those entertaining.

I was going to summarize the past 3wks, but I'm not going to do that now either.  While I do use this blog as a personal journal too, I'll keep all that stuff just saved as drafts because quite frankly, 90% of it isn't all that interesting!

So what is this post about?

The real reason I've not blogged for nearly a month.

I have pregnant brain.
I forgot my google password.

But now I remember it again!  well, at least I did when I signed in a minute ago.

Which is better than last week when I forgot my appleID password so I had to change it to get into that account.  Except when I went to reset it it wouldn't let me use what I wanted because  I have already used that password in the past year.  So apparently I *did* remember my password, just about 20 seconds too late.  So I reset it to something else.  Which I also promptly forgot.  Go figure.

At least I haven't forgotten any of my children.
Well, not for more than a couple of minutes anyway....