Thursday, September 30, 2010

There's PANDA Inside.

Being a Giants fan makes the Nursery Theme that much more appropriate here in San Francisco...

This Post goes out to all you Giants fans...especially you Giants fans who witnessed our group of amazing dancing idiots on TV last night.  I have yet to see the clip, but I can only imagine how ridiculous we looked...and once I find the clip, I promise to share it on this blog. 

For now, here are some pictures from last night at beautiful AT&T Park - Go Giants!!!  Let's make the Playoffs this year!!!

Great seats!
Fueling up before the game at Pedro's across the Street
Everything looked magical last night!
John made the trip for the game!
Like a kid in a candy shop...
View from our seats

The guys...nice seeds, Travis
After Pat's Home-run
Enjoying the game!


The group of Incredible Dancing Idiots...

The Bump Report: Week 23

It's hard to believe how quickly our little fetus is growing up...it seems like just yesterday that Abby was the size of an orange...ohhhh memories...  

And apparently she's losing track of time as well because according to The Bump's report this morning, she's still the size of a Papaya (which is exactly how big she was last week).  Didn't she get the memo that she's supposed to get bigger every week? What a slacker!

It makes me wonder if they're just running out of fruits to compare her to.  It also makes me wonder how I'm getting bigger if she's not...it would make me feel much better if next week the report says, "Your baby is now the size of a Pumpkin."  If she's still a Papaya, I'm going to have to issue a complaint to The Bump - the least they could have done was to call her a "Small Papaya" last week and a "Large Papaya" this week...is that so hard?

Oh well...it is what it is and apparently it's a Papaya.

So now for some pictures...

Thanks to the recent hormone explosion which has left me with overly greasy (aka - "glowing") skin and pimples resembling my high school days (thank you, pregnancy), my face will not be featured in this Post.  It may sound ridiculously vain, but I don't care.  We took the pictures early this morning, I was obviously still wearing my "sexy" sweatpants, and I didn't have a stitch of makeup on...I promise you wouldn't have wanted to see my face...

Check out my Large Papaya...

Week 23
Week 23
In other happy news, I still have an "innie" belly button...I'm really afraid of it becoming an "outtie"...is it going to hurt!?! AHHH!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pink & Pandas

Yesterday I announced Abigail's Nursery Theme - Pink & Pandas - and today I will delve into the "Why?" behind this theme.

After doing a little digging, I'm pretty sure there's not a whole lot for me to explain...just take a look, have a laugh, and enjoy this photo-heavy post!

I think by the end, you'll understand...and not only will you understand, but you'll probably think I'm a little crazy as well.  But that's OK...because who's not!?!

So here goes nothing...

We begin our journey in 1986 with the original "stuffed animal lineup."   Please take note of the ruffled/patterned fabric to the North of the lineup...you'll be seeing that again later on.

1986
Our next stops will be 1987 and 1988 when I took my love for Pandas up a notch and started wearing them on my clothes...

1987
1988
But there was absolutely no turning back when THIS decision was made in 1988...

1988
1989 proved to be another strong year in Pandas as my Mom began making clothes for not only myself, but for Panda as well (remember this Panda from yesterday?  well, this is THE Panda...not quite as fluffy anymore, but just as lovable!).

1989
But what's even better than matching outfits?  Yep, that's right - matching sleeping bags (have I mentioned how amazing my Mom is?)...one for me...and one for Panda. Now do you recognize the ruffles and patterns from 1986?


In 1990 & 1991, the love-fest continued (and you can't be surprised at this point...)

1990
1991
Fast forward a few years to 1995 and I was still drinking the Panda Kool-Aid...I'm sure it'll be hard for you to resist making fun of these pajamas, but 2009's outfit isn't much better...

1995 & 2009
By now I'm sure you can see that things really haven't changed much...to prove that point, I'm still wearing Pandas...

2009 - Go Giants!
I'm still drawn to Pandas...

2010 "Diaper Bag"
 I'm still being gifted Pandas....

2010 - Abby's clothes from Auntie Mindy and Uncle Christopher
 I'm still finding new Pandas to love...

2010 - Once again, Go Giants!!!
And always and forever, I will LOVE the Panda that started this "commitment" (as my Dad calls it) to Pandas. And as my Mom said yesterday, Panda may have glaucoma now, but that's just another sign of how much she/he's been loved! And no, I don't think we ever determined whether Panda was a boy or a girl...details...

2010 - The one and only...Panda

Any questions as to why Abby's Nursery is  
Pink & Pandas now??? 
(let's just hope she loves them too!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Abigail's Nursery Theme is...

I'm sure you've all be waiting patiently for this announcement...we have officially decided upon the theme for Abigail's nursery...she's going to be surrounded by a sea of...

"Pink & Pandas"

I'll explain the inspiration behind the theme tomorrow (as this theme deserves an explanation), but for those of you who know me well, I'm sure you're not surprised...

For now, here's a little hint...


Now I need your HELP!!!  

I'm looking for decorating tips - if you have any, pass 'em along!  Stores, How to Save some $$$, items that just aren't necessary (that people think ARE necessary), anything!!!  Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spotted...The Heart of San Francisco

I may walk by it every single day, but there was something about today that made it stand out...(probably the fact that it was absolutely gorgeous outside at 8:00am...shining sun, perfectly blue skies, happily chirping birds, people singing and dancing instead of walking and talking...ok, maybe the last one is a bit of a stretch, but I've always wanted to live in a Musical, so that's what I envision on perfect mornings...)

Anyway, today I stopped to admire it...I've nicknamed it "The Heart of San Francisco" and I repeat that phrase to myself each time I walk by it.  It resides in Union Square and more often than not, tourists are climbing all over it getting their pictures taken.  Heck, I'm not even a tourist and I kinda want to climb all over it and have someone take my picture.

In my opinion, there's something about this Heart that truly embodies San Francisco...there just needs to be a little fog engulfing half of the Golden Gate Bridge...then it would truly embody all that San Francisco is...


And today I learned something new about this Heart...something that makes me love it that much more.  According to About.com: San Francisco, "Hearts in San Francisco began in 2004 as a fund raiser for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Like the famous painted cows, the painted hearts -- created from uniform molds and painted by individual artists -- decorate the city in areas like Union Square, until they are auctioned off at a benefit for the charity. New hearts are unveiled each year."

Pretty cool stuff.  If I had the $$$ (or a giant, empty room to fill some "fascinating" art with), I might just bid on it!  But since I don't have either of those, I'll just have to continue enjoying The Heart of San Francisco like the rest of the tourists who roam through Union Square. 

And if you happen to have the $$$ or the space, you should buy it and invite me over to admire it! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Bump Report: Week 22

Abby is officially the size of a Papaya...I guess that explains why my belly has been growing at such a rapid rate recently (how's that for some alliteration?).   

In other totally awesome news from The Bump, "Real estate within your belly is getting tight, with growing baby leaving little room for your lungs to...well...breathe.  Expect the huffing and puffing to start soon. There's not much room for your belly button, either -- it'll pop out any day now."

Huffing and Puffing?  Check.  All I need to complete this picture is the Three Little Pig's house to blow down...


Seriously though, I'm feeling like a wheezing, pathetic, sloth-like monster! 

That may be a bit of an exaggeration because I feel awesome most of the time, but it's the times I feel like I can no longer do the things I used to do (ie - work out every day), that make me feel so incapable.

That's also me just being hard on myself (which I'm very good at) - and it's me dealing with the biggest challenge Pregnancy has presented me with thus far - Setting Realistic Expectations.

For some reason, my crazy mind is telling me that I should still be walking 5 miles a day to and from work AND going to the gym on top of that (like I used to do BB - 'before baby').  And last night after going to the gym, I made it half way home and then was forced to take a cab 5 blocks because my body wouldn't allow me to walk the rest of the way. 

Yes. I'll admit it - I'm a little crazy when it comes to pushing myself. What I NEED to work on, though, is listening to my body. And my body (and little baby Abby's body) doesn't want me overdoing it...now we just need my body and my mind to reach some kind of peaceful agreement with one another so that when my body makes a decision, my mind agrees!  Is that so much to ask!?! 

Anyone have some advice on how to work on setting more realistic expectations?  And how to stop being so hard on yourself?

I'll keep you posted on my progress with realistic expectations...but for now, you can take a look at how my bump is progressing...

Week 22: Can't tell much with my t-shirt on!
Week 22: Love the sweat on my sports bra


Week 22: Looking Bump-a-licious

"It Smells Like Cookies!" (and other Stretch Mark Products...)


As promised, I have compiled a list of advice and products my Friends, Family and Followers suggested when I asked them for Stretch Mark advice.  Thank you all so much for your input – I loved reading your responses (well, for the most part…) and I hope you enjoy my recap.  

While I did have a fair number of responses with product suggestions, I also had a good amount from people who simply believe Stretch Mark Creams are a bunch of baloney…here are some of my favorites…

We had some promising comments…

“They say it's all genetic, I didn't get any stretch marks from pregnancy. Don't think my mom did after 5 kids and triplets either... So don't worry too much!” – Kelli

“I never got pregnancy stretch marks so hopefully that means good genes from the Sandman/Mikkelsen side!” – Aunt Cathy

And some brutally honest comments…

“7x7xMommy is in big trouble...her momma has many "faded" stretch marks to this day...every single one well worth it :)” – Chris (aka – my MOM! Ahh!)

“My OB's 'congrats you're pregnant' take-home sheet says up front:  Don't buy any stretch mark cream! You'll either get them, or you won't; it's genetics and you can't change it. I have them pretty badly from my son, but I was overweight to start out and I think if my skin hadn't already been "stretched" from holding all of me in the first place. Good luck not getting them!” – Sareece

“I thought I went through the whole pregnancy with no new stretch marks (I have some from my teen years), but they aren't noticeable. Anyway, I found them after I had my baby...” - Jessi

“I am pretty sure all the stretch mark creams are gimmicks. It’s a nice little game called, does my skin stretch well? My sister ended up with a stretch mark 1/4" long.  Notice the "a" for singular. I on the other hand look like I got mauled by a ravenous creature. No joke. I wear tankinis now... oh and jack was over 9lbs.... so it’s a fun game similar to Russian roulette!” - Lucy

I had a few people suggest some middle-of-road (and quite logical) solutions...

“ The biggest thing is if you skin is moist it'll stretch better without leaving any marks, and lotion at least 3 times a day is usually pretty successful!” - Megan









“Hey "Bump Girl".....the object of any cream for belly bump is to keep skin soft and supple, even something as simple as Aloe Vera, Vaseline or crank case oil. Well the latter might be a little too messy. But DO keep something on Abby’s casing cause it DOES make a difference! Remember, Grandma knows best.” – Anonymous (aka – my Grandma Sally!)




  


And then I had some people who suggested actual products that they used and loved (or heard positive things about)…


“I have some scars from an accident a few years back. They were really red and unsightly. A friend recommended I try Bio Oil and it made a huge difference. According to the bottle it's also suitable for stretch marks. I don't know if you can get it in the States, but if you can it's definitely worth a try.” – RamblingsofaSingleton ($7.55 for a 2 oz bottle)






“I didn't get any stretch marks until like less than a week before the girls were born :/ Those creams and stuff are a load of crap- there is NOTHING you can do to prevent stretch marks. It is genetic, but remember you have two parents so you have to look at BOTH sides of you family. Although I don't think Gram got any... not so sure. You can use Bio Oil or like Mederma Stretch Mark Cream to help minimize the look of them after, but that is about as good as it gets. If you want to use them the sooner the better. Sorry!” - Nina ($29.96 for a 5.29 oz bottle)


“I used Tummy Honey Cream on some serious stretch marks and it actually helped a lot. I'm considering getting some more. You can get it on Amazon for a bit cheaper than you can in the stores.” - Aimee ($9.58 for a 4 oz bottle)







“I used a product that I got at Whole Foods called Mother's Special Blend and it was amazing. I didn't get a single stretch mark (I used it from the day we found out until I was 6 weeks post-partum) and it smells like cookies! Okay, maybe that was the pregnant brain speaking, but I definitely would recommend it. It runs about $15 a bottle, and I only went through one bottle.” – Megs3441 ($10.58 for an 8 oz bottle...or $15.99 for an 8 oz bottle at Whole Foods)




“Try Elemis Camellia Oil...It's kind of pricey, but definitely works!” - Kim ($32.80 for a 3.5 oz bottle)











My stance on the whole thing?  And which product did I purchase?

Well, I have to be honest - I was sold at “it smells like cookies!”   As a pregnant woman, I couldn’t help but do a double take at that statement.  

I must say...logically I believe stretch marks are a genetic thing and that the most powerful (and most brilliantly marketed) stretch mark creams in the world probably won’t make much of an impact…but in order for me to believe that and purchase nothing, I'd have to be logical.  

And I’m not logical right now – I’m PREGNANT!  Sheesh…and last I checked, Pregnant and Logical don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand (what a stereotype, right? Just let me get away with it for the purpose of this post, OK?). 

That being said, while I’m pretty sure Vaseline and every day lotion would have the same effect on my potential stretch marks as the overly-priced-illogical-pregnant-woman-targeted stretch mark creams, I couldn’t resist the thought of rubbing something that smells like cookies on my belly.  (that just sounds weird, doesn’t it? Oh well…)

So last weekend, Travis and I walked on over to Whole Foods (yes, everything in San Francisco is within walking distance for me!) and picked up a bottle of Mother’s Special Blend

 

Let me put it this way – I bought myself some PEACE OF MIND…for $15.99…and it just so happens to smell like cookies (you weren't lying, Megs3441!!!)…and it acts as a wonderful massage oil!  And even if I end up with Stretch Marks at the end of this process, I’m very happy with my purchase and as my Mom said, every stretch mark will be WELL worth it!

I hope you have found this list helpful and if nothing else, entertaining!  As always, keep the ideas, suggestions and feedback coming – you guys are making this blogging experience extremely worthwhile!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To Cherish

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I have the best Little Momma in the entire world (and yes, I'm aware I'm biased).  She's loving, generous, wise and extremely thoughtful. 

Last weekend before we went to the Stanford Football game, we spent the afternoon with my parents and my Mom surprised me with a completely unexpected gift.  Before opening the box, I read her sweet note:


Alison,

A little gift just for you. (crazy smiley face)

I cherish you!

You cherish Abigail!

This gift is in honor of our cherishing (crazy smiley face)!

Also - baby - Bump blog!

Love Ya dearly!




Few things to note here...

1. First of all, I wish I could draw my Mom's smiley faces on this Blog - they look like little crazy floating heads with giant dumbo ears and spiky hair to boot (if you've ever received a note from her - family - I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about).  

2. Secondly, you've gotta love the fact that she mentioned my Blog IN her note...that's her ever so subtle way of giving me material to work with. Thanks, Mom!

3. And finally, you probably noticed her repeated use of the word "Cherish"

Why Cherish?  Well, because inside the gift-wrapped box was this beautiful figurine - Cherish: Awaiting a Miracle


Such a beautiful, thoughtful, and powerful gift...the gift of Cherishing.  (The woman even looks kind of like me...I just need to wrap myself in a long, white sheet to pull off the look)

Anyway, our figurine is now sitting happily in our living room as a constant reminder of what it will mean to Cherish little Abigail.  As defined here, "To Cherish" means "to treat with tenderness and affection; to nurture with care; to protect and aid."  It sounds like a great start to the perfect definition of what it means to be a wonderful Parent.

Friends, Family and Fellow Bloggers, what are some other words and definitions you associate with quality Parenting?

Thanks again, Little Momma!  And just in case you couldn't tell, I Cherish YOU as well!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giving a Whole New Meaning to College Prep

Saturday evening marked our first attendance at a Stanford Football game this season.   Before witnessing the Cardinal whoop Wake Forest's butts 68-24, Travis and I strolled into the Track Shop to see if they had any cute maternity clothes (because as much as I LOVE the Stanford t-shirt Lauren H. gifted me two years ago, it is just not fitting well over my newly formed bump!). 

After hunting high and low and finding nothing to cover a pregnant lady's bump, we did discover these...the very first pair of booties that will ever touch Abigail's tiny newborn baby feet...


Why Stanford?  Well, there's a LOT of Stanford pride in our family - Travis attended the University where he played 4 years of Soccer and 1 of Football...my brother went there and played Volleyball...my Sister-in-Law went there as well...and I worked there at the Stanford Store in Tresidder for two summers and "dated" one of my brother's Volleyball teammates (which together make my Stanford experience almost as legit as theirs...right?).  

Anyway, I have a feeling these booties are only the beginning of Abby's introduction to Stanford University.  Are we breeding a future Stanford student?  It's possible.  Are we going to be crazy parents who push our children to attend Universities they don't want to?  Absolutely not. 

That being said, we will be encouraging Abby (and her future siblings) to focus on education and the importance of setting goals.  And even though we're not parents quite yet, we do know that we want nothing but the best for our children and we will do everything in our power to set them up for success - that's what our parents did for us...and that's what we'll do for our children.

And in the event Abby does go to Stanford, she'll always have these booties as a reminder of how motivated she was...straight out of the womb! 

When did your parents start talking to you about College?  Did they have you sporting Stanford-like booties at birth, or were they a little more reasonable? 

Here are a few pics from the game the other night...

Before the Game
Our Awesome Seats

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spotted...Oracle OpenWorld 2010

No. It's not juicy gossip...

And it's not sexy lingerie...

But it IS something techies throughout Silicon Valley look forward to ALLLLLLL year...

Oracle has officially taken over San Francisco with Oracle OpenWorld 2010!!! (the exclamation points are my attempt at coming across super excited...how did I do?)




Only in San Francisco would one of the City's busiest streets be shut down for "the world's largest information technology event dedicated to helping enterprises understand how to harness the power of information."  Sounds like fun, right? Well, it sounds like San Francisco where companies like Twitter and Yelp are located a block or two away from this massive event which began emerging from the ground last week (there are literally huge white tents engulfing the streets). 




And while I might not be the most excited about this particular event, I do appreciate the value it adds to San Francisco (and the fact that Technology is keeping San Francisco afloat in these trying economic times).  Plus, it's also Technology that keeps both myself and my husband successfully employed.  And for that, Technology, we thank you (that was me channeling Tosh.0...but I digress).

One thing is for sure - as long as we live in this City, little Miss Abigail will forever be on the cutting edge of all things technology related...and to be honest, I think that's one of the coolest aspects of living in San Francisco.  Who knows, maybe she'll grow up frequenting events like these and wearing backpacks like this...
 

 
On a selfish note, my commute to work is going to be a pain this week due to all the foot traffic in my usually traffic-free zone!  Sheesh...I think I should get some free products from Oracle for this inconvenience...

Have a great Monday...and if you live in San Francisco, stay far, FAR away from 4th Street in SoMa (unless, of course, you're attending the event)!