Monday, September 19, 2011

Maybe It Was Memphis

James and I spent Labor Day week in Memphis with my family. It was our last trip before the baby comes. When I came back to Austin and went to the doctor, I had gained four pounds in two weeks. Let me explain how this happened: Corky's BBQ, hushpuppies, fried shrimp, chocolate cheesecake, BBQ Chicken pizza, a corndog and spinach and artichoke dip. Just a few of the items I indulged in while in my hometown. James and I always plan our trips around food, but this may have been a bit much. I needed a detox when I returned.

We did manage to snap some pictures while in Memphis. James brought every camera and lens he owns, then wound up using the point and shoot exclusively. Something about not wanting to "work" while on vacation. It's a good thing we have a really nice point and shoot! These photos were taken when I was 32 weeks along.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Cupcake

I love to bake. Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bread...I'll bake anything. I would consider myself a pretty decent baker, meaning, it's rare that I have some sort of mishap like a burnt crust and uncooked inside, or a lopsided cake. I've been baking for about 12 years now, and I have learned a few principles of baking that are important:

1.) Read the recipe all the way through before you begin.
2.) Always use the highest quality ingredients.
3.) Enjoy the process of creating deliciousness.
4.) Share the end product.

It occurred to me this morning that this baby is by far the most important and significant item I have ever baked. It certainly has taken longer to bake this little cupcake than any other! The scary thing is, there's no recipe to follow when it comes to raising a child. It's kind of like that "recipe" of your grandmothers that's only in her mind, and when you ask her to write it down for you, she can't, because it isn't precise. It depends on the conditions and the ingredients used. Same thing with a baby. I guess I can read other, similar recipes (aka books), and maybe even a few reviews of those recipes, but there is no one right way to raise a child, no hard and fast rule. Unlike in baking, where you should ALWAYS lick the bowl.

I definitely intend on using only the finest ingredients to raise this baby: breast milk, cloth diapers, nutritious food, reading books and a whole lot of love. But that won't guarantee a perfect end result. And let's be real, people. Will my kid eat Happy Meals? Of course. Watch TV? Sure, although we do have a "no TV in the bedroom" policy in the Dvorscak house. Ingredients are really important, but so is your technique, which when it comes to parenting, is so personal. And you know what? Sometimes, even when you use the best ingredients available, your cake can be burnt on the edges, because your oven sucks. You do what you can with what you've got, right?

Of all my baking rules, this is the one I most want to follow when it comes to raising my child: enjoy the process. I want to appreciate all the moments, good and bad. Of course, it's so easy to look at your sleeping baby with heart swelled. But what about when the kid empties the contents of your makeup bag into the toilet? Or when they decide to paint the bedroom wall with poop? Or when they can't verbalize why they have been crying for the last two hours? I hope that even in these trying situations, I can take one tiny moment to appreciate the fact that parenting is an adventure, and I am so lucky to be on the trip. Plus, they make really great stories.

My mom's good friend shared one of her parenting philosophies with me this weekend, and I thought it was so profound. She wanted to raise her boys to be good husbands or partners. The concept sounds so simple, and it is. Actually accomplishing it is much more difficult, I'm sure. After all, you raise your children and then ultimately share them with others, whether you like it or not. Raising them with their future partner in mind, as a guiding principle, is brilliant. The goal is to raise responsible, thoughtful, respectful, smart and caring adults. That about covers it, no?

So, while I continue to bake this little bun in my oven, I realize that no matter how many books I read, how much I think I know, and how great of a parent I think I may be, I really don't know jack. About anything. Except cupcakes...I KNOW cupcakes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Third time is not a charm

They say good things come in threes. Third times a charm. In the decorating world, three of something is ideal. Well, the third trimester of this pregnancy is not a barrel of laughs, let me tell you. Man, I feel like an old lady! I have aches and pains that seem to worsen each week. My pubic bone is sore, my hips hurt, my abdomen is tight. Apparently, this tightening of the abdomen is a phenomenon called Braxton Hicks contractions. Um, really? Already? I cannot get comfortable. I can't breathe as deeply as I'd like to. I'm tired. Oh, and have I mentioned my stomach is huge? It's starting to be a tight fit in there. My midwife said the baby was situated head down, but has it's legs out to the side in an L shape. Funny, that's my favorite way to sleep, too! Already this kid is taking after me. It's pretty energetic, also. Oh, I remember when I had energy!

At 31 weeks, this is the last week of month seven. I've gained 18 pounds so far. Right now, the baby is a little over three pounds and about 16 inches long. It's basically just fattening up at this point. And I'm doing what I can to help it, with all the homemade ice cream we've been making in this house. My sweet tooth is out of control these days. I think I'm making up for those few months in the beginning where I didn't want any sweets.

Next week, I'll be officially eight months pregnant. Holy CRAP! There's still so much left to do! Once we return from our trip to Memphis, which will be our last trip before the baby, we have to:

1.) Finish the nursery
2.) Find a pediatrician
3.) Finish the baseboards in the spare room and office
4.) Clean out the garage

I realize that numbers one and two on this list are really the only things that HAVE to be done before the baby comes, but the chances of finishing home projects after we have a baby are pretty slim, so I'd like to complete them.

My 30 week pictures were taken here at the house. Why, you ask? Well, because we are in the midst of the hottest summer ever recorded in Austin. And this last weekend we had the hottest temperature ever recorded in Austin: 112 degrees. I thought it best to stay indoors. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

28 weeks

I am so lucky to be married to a photographer. He takes nice pictures of me and then makes them even better by magically erasing the terrible acne that is plaguing me right now.

Twenty-eight weeks. Twelve more to go. God help my belly button.


James and I enjoyed a little vacation in our own city recently. About a year ago, at a silent auction, we bid on a nights stay at the Hotel Saint Cecilia, and we won it. The Hotel Saint Cecilia is a very hip, very expensive boutique hotel just off South Congress Avenue. I decided to take the day off on Monday, and we booked our stay for Sunday night. Let me tell you, everything about this hotel is

We checked in on Sunday around 1pm, and promptly took the bikes provided by the property down to South Congress for lunch. Yes, the hotel has bikes available for the guests to use. Cool! Then we hit the pool, which was like something out of a magazine. There's a giant neon sign overlooking the pool that reads "SOUL." Again, cool. Our room had a view of downtown Austin, which we enjoyed after dinner. All the items in the mini bar, while prohibitively expensive, were totally obscure gourmet items. They even had a bathroom mini bar, with things like Kiehls lipbalm, a fancy mens shaving kit with a brush and a gold toothbrush. Again, they were wildly expensive, but still cool. I did take the shampoo and lotion that was provided, because it smelled delicious and I had never heard of the brand before. And the bed, oh the bed! It's a Hastens bed, retail: $5000. It was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The grounds of the hotel are immaculate, as is the service. And the decor of our room was what I would call modern global. And totally cool. James and I have promised each other we will return to the Hotel Saint Cecilia once a year, just because it was so. damn. cool.

And can I just say that I highly recommend taking a random day off work and just playing? James and I woke up on Monday, and we biked down to the South Congress Cafe for breakfast. Breakfast is great any day of the week, but breakfast at a nice restaurant when you should be sitting at your desk was so much more fun. We bummed around town just the two of us, with no schedule, knowing that soon we would be three, and a schedule would be of the utmost importance. It was so much fun. And I was reminded that while I absolutely love my husband, I actually really like him, too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I am now officially in my third trimester. Two-thirds of the way through this pregnancy. It feels like just yesterday when James and I found out we were pregnant, and then kept it a secret for two months. It is unbelievable to me that we will have a BABY, in our HOUSE, in three months. Talk about a game changer!

Let's take a look at how far I have come in six short months, shall we?

Here's me at seven weeks pregnant:

And here's me now, at 27 weeks:

I've gained 15 pounds so far. But with another 12 weeks left, I'll gain at least another 12 pounds, possibly more. So, I'm right on target to gain about 30 pounds. And if I do gain a total of 30 pounds, I will have increased my body weight by 26% in nine months. That's the equivalent of a 185 pound man putting on 50 pounds! No wonder I feel so heavy! I've really felt the additional weight in the last few weeks. It's much more difficult to get up off the floor without a helping hand, and I actually needed help getting out of a car the other day. My back is sore and I tire more easily. I spent an hour and half cleaning my house on Saturday, which is pretty typical, and it completely wore me out! Today, I went to the grocery store and then came home and made tuna burgers for lunch. I have spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch. It seems that any prolonged time on my feet is more difficult on me. I don't have a lack of energy, it's just that my energy doesn't last as long as it used to. My body is unable to keep up with my mental energy, and that is taking some getting used to. But I'm working on it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Jinx

Throughout this pregnancy, I have been quite proud of the fact that I really haven't had many of the typical side effects of pregnancy: exhaustion, emotional, heartburn, swelling or crazy cravings. Generally, I have felt like myself, only heavier. :) Well, yesterday, I had one of the typical pregnancy-related side effects, and it scared the shit out of me.

I was sitting at my desk at work, and I started to feel lightheaded. I know dizziness is pretty common during pregnancy, so no big deal, I thought, and I put my head down on my desk. The dizziness didn't pass and I started to get kind of hot, so I went into our bathroom where there is a chair and it's usually 10 degrees cooler. I sat down for several minutes, and just continued to feel worse. My dizziness turned into serious tunnel vision and I thought I was either going to faint or puke. At some point, I realized that if I did, in fact, faint, I would be all by myself locked in the bathroom. Not a good plan. So I stumbled down the hall into my boss' office, completely ashen and dripping in sweat, and put my head on her desk and told her I didn't feel right. She took one look at me and told someone to get water and a cold compress. I was still so dizzy, and then I lost feeling in my hands. That totally freaked me out. It scared me so bad that I actually started to get upset. My boss called James to come and get me, and insisted I go home and call my doctor immediately.

What I learned is that not only is this sort of episode fairly common during pregnancy, but that I need to get used to weird stuff happening with my body and having absolutely no control over it. I was not outside in the oppressive heat, I had a nutritious breakfast, plenty of water, I was doing all the right stuff, but sometimes the pregnant body just decides to throw you for a loop. I've had such an easy pregnancy and been so proud of that, that it's somewhat difficult to accept that the next three months could be totally different. I'm getting bigger, it's hotter than hell here, and I'm slightly more uncomfortable. I've been taking it easy, and will continue to do so, but I just can't spend the entire weekend on the couch. I'm hoping I can continue to clean my house, run errands and go out to eat, at a bare minimum. A workout would be nice, too, but when I get home from work and feel tired, that's the first thing to go, and I'm OK with that. So, hopefully these last three months of pregnancy will continue to be relatively easy. And no more "spells." But we'll see.

The 26 week pictures were taken in downtown Austin on a Friday night. Date night with my husband...dinner and a concert. Which is nice, but I'm told we'll never be able to do that again once we have kids, so we're living it up!