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!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A List of Lists.

I am a list-maker. It's in my blood. My mother is a list-maker, too, and I guess she passed down her love of making lists to me. I make the grocery list every week. I make lists of gift ideas for family and friends. I make lists of sewing projects I would someday like to complete. I actually have a small spiral notebook that is nothing but lists. In fact, at this very moment, I have six lists that I am keeping:

1.) My perpetual to-do list at work
2.) A list of projects for James to complete (things like: sand and paint dresser for nursery, organize garage, and replace all closet doors in the house)
3.) A list of projects for me to complete (things like: sew crib skirt, complete nursery wall collage and make drapes for spare bedroom)
4.) A list of baby names
5.) Baby Shower invite list
6.) A list of pregnancy picture locations

You do realize I just made a list of lists. Somebody stop me!

I see the following lists in my future:

1.) A list of items to bring to the birthing center when I give birth
2.) A list of questions for prospective pediatricians
3.) A list of how long and how far apart my contractions are

I can't help myself!

In all seriousness, though, my love of list-making stems from my need to be organized, and most of all, prepared. Nothing irritates me more than being ill-prepared for something. Like, when you are baking something and you realize you are missing an ingredient and have to make a trip to the grocery store. Hence, the grocery list we make weekly. That list actually has a list of meals for the week and a list of items to purchase. It's a two-fer!! I pride myself on being prepared for almost anything. I research, plan, make a list and then consider other possibilities that could arise. And this all sounds great, right? What could be wrong with being prepared? Well, the thing is, when you're about to have your first baby, you can never be prepared for what awaits. I can do all the research and planning and list-making in the world, and none of it will make a damn bit of difference when James and I are home with the baby those first few weeks. Intuition and practice are probably going to take us further than any research and preparation will. This is a scary prospect for someone who likes to be prepared. So, I'm telling myself to trust my instincts and go with the flow. Do what works for us, and be confident in my ability to be a good mother. And I'm sure somewhere in there is a list feeding times and wet/poopy diapers. More lists! I feel better already.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

34 and more

Today I turned 34 years old. As I get older, I get more ambivalent about my birthday. My birthday is no longer a really big deal. Birthdays are not as much fun in your thirties as they are when you're ten. I'm not celebrating today with all my friends at the skating rink and eating an ice cream cake. Not that birthdays aren't to be celebrated at this age, but they should be celebrated with more...restraint.

Typically, 34 is not a milestone age. Nothing special happens, no new opportunities arise, when you turn 34. But for me, it will be the most important age of my life. It will forever be the age when I gave birth to my first child. Thirty-four will always reside along with 18, 21, 30 and those other milestone birthdays.

For the last few birthdays, I have not been really excited about getting older. I'm not one of those people who gets depressed about turning another year older, but I haven't been jumping for joy either. But today, I was excited and proud to turn 34 years old, because I know it will be my best year yet.

I wanted to be sure and get a few photos on my birthday this year, to document the bump. These were taken at The Domain, a shopping and residential establishment near our house. Note how my dress, which is not a maternity dress, is much shorter in the front due to my ever-expanding stomach. Hilarious.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

23 weeks

I'm trying to get back on track with my weekly photos. Between vacations and wedding season, it's been difficult!

At 23 weeks along, I'm doing pretty good. I've gained about 11 pounds. My midwife tells me that at this point in the pregnancy, I can expect to gain about a pound a week. That means another 17 pounds to go. Yikes. I feel pretty big right now. I know that I'll get much bigger, but honestly, it's a little hard to imagine. I still feel great...not too tired, and no swelling at this point. Which is a pretty major feat if you ask me, since it's been over 100 degrees here in Austin for well over a month! But 17 MORE pounds? I have no concept. It's increasingly difficult to work out, with the additional weight I'm carrying. And my lower abdomen is beginning to get sore, especially at the end of the day. I have really been amazed at how different I feel at night compared to the morning. By nighttime, my abdomen is sore, my belly is much tighter and I feel heavier. Weird.

But I'm still enjoying this pregnancy. The baby is moving more and more each day, and now you can actually see the activity on my stomach. It's like a roller coaster!

My 23 weeks pictures were taken down on South Congress at the Jo's Coffee Shop. Someone spray painted a lovely message on the side of their building, and I thought it was appropriate for how I feel about this baby:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


James and I have decided to cloth diaper. I know, I know. You think we're nuts. Trust me, I hear it all the time. Why the hell would you cloth diaper when disposables are so much more convenient? Think of all the laundry you'll do! GROSS!

I wanted to explain here why exactly James and I have decided on cloth diapering. As with all things baby related (and most others, too), we did our research. And here are a few reasons why we decided on the fluff:

1.) I'm frugal. There's no way you can deny that cloth diapering is cheaper than buying disposables. The average child will go through anywhere from $1600 to $3000 in disposable diapers before they are potty trained. Cloth diapering, on the other hand, can be accomplished by spending a few hundred dollars. Now, there are certainly ways to spend much more on cloth diapers...fancy all-in-one diapers with cute patterns run about $15-$20 apiece. But, even if I spend $500 on a cloth diaper stash, I will be able to use those diapers with multiple children, so it's a one-time cost. And I freaking LOVE saving money!

2.) It's better for the environment. This is the primary reason that James is totally on board with cloth diapering. I'm married to somewhat of an environmentalist. We recycle, have a rain barrel, compost our food scraps, and generally try to reuse and repurpose whenever possible. We create only one bag of trash each week between the two of us. The thought of all the additional trash we would create on a weekly basis with just the disposable diapers, plus the fact that those diapers will sit in a landfill for god knows how long (some estimates are over 200 years!!), well, that was enough to convince my tree-hugging husband. And it makes me feel good, too.

3.) It's better for the baby. Honestly, this is not my number one reason for wanting to cloth diaper, but it does carry some weight. Disposable diapers contain all kinds of harsh chemicals that help with absorbancy, which is what makes disposable diapers so great. But those chemicals can be harmful and dangerous to a baby, and can cause or exacerbate skin rashes. Think about it: it's recommended that parents use a dye and perfume -free detergent to wash babies clothes in, but we put diapers on their butts with chemicals that are carcinogens.

Now, I certainly realize that by cloth diapering, I am creating more work, i.e., more laundry. But since all the parents I know have told me that once you have a baby you'll be doing laundry all the time anyway, I don't see this as a big deal. Plus, I'm one of those weird people that actually doesn't mind laundry. It just isn't one of those chores that bothers me. James and I both are pretty regimented people by nature, so if diapers need to be washed every other day religiously, then they will be.

And yes, I realize there is a bit of "ick" factor. But isn't handling any dirty diaper icky? So dirty diapers will sit in a bin for a day before they are washed. I wonder how often other mothers take out their dirty disposable diaper trash? Every day? I doubt it.

Lastly, neither James nor I has ever diapered a child before, cloth or disposable. So cloth will be our normal. We won't know any different. What we will know is that we are doing the right thing for our little family, regardless of what others think. And plus, we're not the type to really give a shit what other people think!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Opus

I would say that James and I are pretty logical and practical people. When it comes to large purchases, we do our research. We try to really think about how we plan on using something, and what will work best for us. I remember when we were remodeling our kitchen, I would wake up in the morning to the sound of the tape measure snapping shut, James hard at work researching and measuring and planning. The kitchen was his opus.

This baby and all the things that come with it are my opus. I have never conducted more research, read more books, given more thought to anything ever before. And the one item of all the necessary baby items that this has proven more true of is the stroller. I have spent more time researching and reading about strollers than I did when I bought my last car. Deciding on the perfect stroller for our family has been futile. It's all stemming from practicality. See, I really want to only buy one stroller. And every parent I have talked to about strollers tells me they have more than one. But what if I don't want more than one stroller? Is this really necessary? Does there not exist a stroller that will work for a newborn all the way up to a toddler, be built for either the mall or the trail, easy to fold and somewhat lightweight? If this does not exist, how come??

I have currently narrowed it down to two strollers. Problem is, only one is available at a local store for me to test drive. Do I take a chance and buy a stroller that I have not tested? Other decisions like the bassinet and the car seat are dependent upon this stroller decision. And I really do not want to buy a stroller now, only to turn around and buy another one in a few months. I want the perfect stroller. My question is, why is this so difficult?

On an unrelated note, here's the bump at 22 weeks, all the way from New York City!:

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I am now officially halfway through this pregnancy. I can't believe it! It seems like it's gone by so fast already. In honor of my halfway point, I thought I would revisit this post and check in on my progress. Here is what I wrote back in March, with my post edits:

I will:
1.) Wear high heels throughout my entire pregnancy.
2.) Work out. (hahaha)
3.) Strive to thrift or refashion the majority of my maternity clothes.
4.) Have a natural childbirth experience with a midwife.
5.) Read a book on natural childbirth and a book about breastfeeding.
6.) Take a picture of myself every week and make a photobook documenting this pregnancy.

1.) Still rockin' the heels, baby.
2.) Working out about 2x per week. Not as often as I'd like, but it's something!
3.) While I haven't thrifted any clothes, really, I can say I have not spent more than $20 on any one maternity item I have bought. Furthermore, I have actually converted a couple of non-maternity items I already owned into maternity. For free!
4.) TBD
5.) Check and check.
6.) I think I have missed two or three weeks so far. I kind of lost track because of vacation.

I won't:
1.) Gain more than 30 pounds.
2.) Eat for two people.
3.) Find out the sex of the baby.
4.) Eat raw sushi, feta or gorgonzola cheese (just kill me now), or drink alcohol.
5.) Dedicate all Faceboook posts to pregnancy or baby-related topics.
6.) Act like I am the only woman who has ever had a baby.

1.) As of 20 weeks, my total weight gain was seven pounds. If I gain about a pound a week for the rest of my pregnancy (which is normal), that would put me at 27 pounds total pregnancy weight gain. Not too bad. Let's see if I can keep it up.
2.) I have not been gluttonous. I snack in the morning on almonds and in the afternoon on dried apricots or a granola bar. My meals are relatively healthy.
3.) We had our ultrasound and were not tempted at all to find out the sex, and I don't anticipate this changing!
4.) Um, OK...I have stumbled here, but only because I have read that it's actually OK to indulge in these things at a minimum. I have had probably 3 pieces of raw sushi. Don't even try and tell me that pregnant women in Japan do not eat raw fish! And it turns out that feta and gorgonzola are totally OK as long as they are pasturized. As for alcohol, I have had sips of James' beer/wine/margaritas, but never more than a sip. And I totally drank O'Douls on vacation. Hey, it made me feel like I was drinking beer on the beach, and let's be honest, what's a beach without beer??
5.) I probably err on the side of more pregnancy-related posts than not. But I try to be cognizant of it. I would grade myself a C on this one.
6.) Hmmm, I just asked James what he thought about this one, and he said that I have not been acting this way. I'll agree.

So, overall I would say I've been pretty good about following my rules. James told me yesterday that he was pleased I have not had the raging pregnancy hormones (read: total bitchiness and/or weepiness) that he's heard about. I really have felt much like my regular self...plenty of energy, overall pleasant mood and no weird cravings. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I cannot believe how my body has changed. I wasn't sure how I would feel about that, but I can say that it's really....awesome. It's totally weird in the sense that my stomach has always been relatively flat, and right now it looks like I have swallowed a bowling ball. But I feel the baby moving in there now and I wouldn't trade that for a flat stomach any day.

Speaking of bowling's my 20 week picture. We went bowling with some friends and I just couldn't resist!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


We had our ultrasound on Wednesday, and we finally saw the baby! It's funny how seeing this baby, and feeling it move in my stomach, can really make this pregnancy hit home. I am growing a BABY. In my BODY. It's still so surreal.

The ultrasound was very fast, and thankfully, the baby is developing just perfectly. I'm not the type to worry, so I hadn't given much thought to the fact that if something was wrong, the ultrasound would most likely show it. It didn't really occur to me, until I laid down on that exam table and she put the jelly on my stomach. Then, I wondered what we would see. Well, we saw the heart and cranium, the spine, and little baby fists. We also saw the baby sticking out it's tongue and moving it's mouth. It is so amazing to me that this little baby started out as a speck, and now has all it's working parts. Speaking of working parts, it has genitals! We don't know which kind, but the ultrasound tech said they were "normal and unambiguous." Thumbs up for that.

I have been starting to feel more connected to the baby, now that I can feel it. It wasn't that I felt disconnected before, but I guess seeing is believing. Obviously, I've known all along that there was a baby in there, but now that I can actually feel it move, well, that is a feeling like no other. It's kind of unexplainable, but in the best possible way.

I just feel so happy. So happy I am having a baby, and so happy that James and I are going to be parents. Of a BABY. That I am GROWING. Crazy!

Oh, and since we skipped last weeks pictures (have I mentioned this project is a burden?), I thought I would post another shot or two from our vacation.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tiny Dancer

Today I felt the baby move for the very first time. It was subtle, yet so obvious that it was the little rascal moving around. It felt like gas, except without the, well, gas. I felt it four or five times in a span of about a minute. I guess the baby likes Chick-fil-A's Spicy Chicken Sandwich as much as mama does!

It was the coolest feeling in the whole world. I cried.


The title of this post, in all caps (which means I'm yelling), comes from a cruise director on the cruise James and I took a couple of years ago. The entire cruise, he would randomly yell "VACATION!!!" It was really annoying and the opposite of relaxing, which is what vacation is all about, no?

If I don't get to the beach at least once a year, I get...pissy. I love vacations, or any traveling, really. I love planning it, packing for it and and all the "stresses" that come with travel, like spending money and flying. I. Love. Vacations. I need to go places every once in awhile. For me, travel is not a burden, it's necessary to keep me sane.

Our most recent vacation was to Cape San Blas, Florida. It's my husbands most favorite place on Earth, and he's been wanting to take me there for the last six years. Although at first, he wanted me to go camping in the State Park. Um, I like camping, but for a maximum of two nights, and certainly not when it's hot. So, we rented a house on the beach and we were both happy. :) It was so beautiful there, and so un-crowded, I hesitate to talk too much about it because I don't want everyone to go there and make it crowded. But we literally did almost nothing all week except lay on the beach. The one day we actually did something, we rented a boat and drove to the tip of the Cape, which is only accessible by boat or hiking seven miles from the state park. I can honestly say, it was one of the best days of my life. Have you ever had one of those days where you felt like you were in a movie? That was this day. We found shells that were as big as my hand. We plucked sand dollars straight out of the ocean. We saw a school of dolphins that were swimming along side our boat. We saw a bunch of stingray, and even a sea turtle. It was awesome.

Being on vacation got me thinking about how our vacations will change once we have a baby. Or will they? Do they have to, really? I mean, I realize that there are places we will go once we have kids that we may not have gone before (Disney World), but more than anything, I just want to instill my love of travel in my child. I want to make an effort to go places and do things, regardless of how much (literal) baggage I must carry. For us, travel and vacations are a high priority, and I want it to continue to be that way. I want my children to learn to entertain themselves while on a road trip or an airplane. And I want them to be excited about going places, to relish the journey and the destination.

While on our trip, we did have some fun with photos. I was so relaxed on vacation, that my baby bump grew quite substantially. Here's evidence:

And this is one of the seashells I plucked off the ocean floor:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For Real

I've been a little behind on my blogging. And picture-taking (see last post). But we're going to get back on track here. There's so much to say!

First, we got a crib. And, according to my friends, we are way ahead of schedule. I guess the prime crib-purchasing time in pregnancy is sometime around six months along?? No one told me there were rules about when it was appropriate to purchase things, sorry. Would you believe me if I told you that we didn't plan on getting the crib so soon? Because we didn't, I swear! The crib had been out of stock ever since I found it and decided it was the one. I just happened to check one night, and there it was, back in stock. So, James told me to buy it and I did. I'm sure he wishes everything were this simple.

I will tell you that putting the crib together and in place in the work-in-progress-nursery was the very first moment of this pregnancy where it felt REAL. Like, we're having a BABY, real. It was pretty cool. For days afterward I would just wander into the nursery to look at the crib and the little onesie that we put in it. I can't wait to paint the room so I can get my decorating on! We (I) have decided not to have a theme for the room, more a color scheme of bright colors like yellow, lime green, orange and turquoise. Because nothing says "baby" like citrus colors! Haha

Here are a few random things I have noticed lately:
1.) I can no longer bend at the waist with the same flexibility. This affects everything from painting my toenails to bending over to pet my dog to leaning forward in the sales meeting. I'm told it will get worse, which means I'll have to pay to get a pedicure, have James pet Chloe for me and bring a cot to my sales meetings.

2.) If I stop drinking liquids at 8pm, I can almost make it all night without getting up to pee. However, when I get up the next day, I'm so dehydrated that I drink my body weight in water for the next 12 hours and therefore spend the day in the bathroom, peeing. There has to be a better way.

3.) I'm going to have to invest in new undergarments. In a larger size.

So, for my sixteen week pictures James wanted to go to the Pennybacker Bridge. It was a gorgeous day, although the very instant we hiked up to the lookout, the wind started blowing something fierce. It pissed me off, since I can't really pull off the Victoria's Secret catalog windblown look. For multiple reasons.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

15 weeks

This little photo project is turning out to be quite the burden. I feel the need to go to these great places and get these fantastic pictures. But it's wedding season, and my husband is very busy taking pictures of other people, so, I'm relegated to Sunday photo sessions. Those of you who know me well know that I have a long-standing tradition of not showering on Sundays. I've been not showering on Sundays since college. Sunday is a day of rest, people, and showering and putting on lotion and blow drying hair and putting on makeup is not restful.

So, last weekend I thought I would take full advantage of my no-shower Sunday tradition and go bike riding downtown. That gave me an excuse to look like crap in these pictures. But you can really see the bump in my workout clothes! We took these pictures in front of the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Lady Bird Lake.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mind your own business.

By this point, most people who know I am pregnant know that we are not planning to find out the sex of the baby. Their opinions are split about 50/50. Half think it's awesome to wait, and the other half feel if it were their choice, they either couldn't wait to find out or are just planners and would want to know in advance. I don't expect everyone to agree with the decision, but I do expect people to be polite about it. And this week, I came across someone who crossed the line and was overly pushy and rude about my choice, and it really pissed me off.

It was a coworker, and one who is usually so incredibly nice. He asked when we would find out the sex, and I told him we weren't planning on it. I got the typical response at first..."but how will you plan your nursery?" and "what about the clothes?" I explained my position on both: the nursery will be bright and cheerful, not gender-specific and the clothes will be pajamas for the first few months, so who cares? Then he kept pushing. He even used the word "crazy." I again explained that we thought it would be a great surprise and that we weren't planning on buying many gender-specific items, because we plan on having more kids. And he kept pushing. Then, he actually insulted me. He said that the "surprise" of finding out the sex at birth was actually "anti-climactic," and that I would probably not care at that point because I had just gone through labor.

Um, excuse me? First of all, it's none of your damn business what I do. If you don't agree, smile and nod and get the hell out of my way. Secondly, you don't know whether it would be anti-climactic, because you found out the sex of your baby before birth, so you really don't have any idea what that would be like. Third, when I tell you at least five times in the conversation that this is what WE want, the decision that is best for US, shut the hell up.

I'm sure this will not be the last time I come across someone who has their own ideas about my plan. And don't get me wrong, I certainly don't expect everyone to agree with my decisions. What I do expect, however, is common courtesy and respect. Be polite. Smile and nod, you know?

So, let's get to the baby bump, shall we? It's really bumping these days. This week, James wanted to shoot the pictures at the car wash down the street. Because nothing says "We're having a baby" like a car wash?? No. For at least the last three years, the car wash has had a sign out front that says "Big changes coming soon." And well, big changes are coming soon to the Dvorscak household, so we took the pictures under the sign. Just in case the car wash decides after three years to actually make big changes.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

13 Weeks

Oh I am definitely showing now! This is the first week I have been unable to button some of my pants. I actually spent a hour in my closet today trying on clothes to figure out what I'll be able to wear for the time being. Thank god for the belly band!

We took the 13 weeks pictures at the Texas State Capitol on a gorgeous (and hot) afternoon. Have I mentioned it's hot here? Already? And it's only April?

My Marathon

Alot of people have asked me why I've decided to have natural childbirth with a midwife at a birthing center, as opposed to a hospital birth. There are so many reasons. This was not a decision I made willy-nilly, and it's one that James has to be completely on board with, which he is. I've always been interested in natural childbirth. My mother had me without drugs, and I love to hear her tell the story of my birth, and how great she felt afterward. But ultimately, each reason is my own personal reason.

Reason #1: Because I CAN.
My body was created, specifically designed, for childbirth. Women have been having babies, without pain meds, since the beginning of time. Now, I'm not saying that modern medicine has no place; it absolutely does. Modern medicine saved my mother's life, twice. Here's the thing, though: our bodies were not created to withstand cancer, brain tumors, heart attacks, without modern medicine. We should die from those things, but because of medical technology, we don't. And I am so thankful for that! But my body was made to withstand childbirth without modern medicine, specifically pain medicine. I have enzymes and hormones that will kick into gear and make natural childbirth possible. I'm not saying it's not going to be painful; that's just dumb. I'm squeezing a human from my loins. This will hurt. Immensely. But I can withstand it, and then it will be over. It's what my body was made to do.

Reason #2: Medical research blah blah blah.
There is a lot of information I could write about here, but I won't. I'm no doctor, I sell advertising, people! But, here's what I know and have done extensive research on. Thirty percent of women in the United States get C-sections. That is the highest percentage of any industrialized country. Many times (not all), when in a hospital setting, a woman is not allowed to let labor progress naturally, however long that may take. A hospital is in the business of making money, at the end of the day. They need to turn beds over quickly. Therefore, drugs are used to speed up the process, and if birth doesn't happen within the doctors time line, a C-section is done.

There's also the issue of the epidural and other drugs routinely used in hospitals. First of all, I have never had any form of anesthesia, so I have no idea how I would react to it. This makes me uncomfortable. Secondly, many of the drugs used during labor actually work against each other and the labor process, making it even more difficult. Again, I'm speaking in generalities here, because I don't intend to write a book on this subject. But as mentioned above, there are certain hormones that a woman needs during childbirth, and the use of various meds during labor restrict the release of these.

Lastly, I worry that with pain meds and such during labor, I wouldn't be fully connected to the process. How would I know if I was pushing, and pushing GOOD, with an epidural? Just my own personal feeling.

Reason #3: Because it's a challenge.
My husband has run a marathon before. I think that's nuts. Why would anyone want to run 26.2 miles? It doesn't sound like fun, it sounds painful. Well, natural childbirth is my marathon. Why do something painful when you can do it (relatively) pain free? Because I want to. Because it's a challenge. It's my marathon. I want to push myself so close to the edge, and then cross that finish line. Marathons and climbing mountains, those are physical challenges, but more than anything, they are mental challenges. So is natural childbirth. It is most definitely a physical challenge that requires extensive training. We are required to take the Bradley Birthing Method class, and that class is hard core. We must prepare and practice for weeks leading up to the birth. I have to be diligent about my diet and weight gain, so that I can be in the best shape when it's time. And James has to learn how to get me to totally relax, and stay relaxed, for hours upon end. But mentally, that's the real challenge for me. You can't quit labor. At least in a marathon, you can actually stop running, if necessary. But childbirth, that baby is coming no matter what. It's a fierce mental challenge and one that I am so excited about. Now I understand why people get excited about running marathons. I get it.

So, these are some of the reasons I want to experience natural childbirth. Please know that these are my personal thoughts about MY experience. Everyone is different, and I do not think that women who had C-sections or medicated births are lesser humans or something. No way. I think any woman who has had a baby, however she had it, is a miracle. I just have my own desires for my birthing experience, and I intend to do my part to make it happen. I am fully aware it may not turn out that way, and if it doesn't, I might be disappointed. Ultimately, the baby's health is most important, so whatever transpires, I'll manage. But, I'm training for my own personal marathon, and James is training to be my coach. And I really can't wait to hold that baby.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Twelve Weeks.

I will officially be twelve weeks pregnant tomorrow. In the weird world of pregnancy, I'm actually still in my first trimester through the end of the thirteenth week. I still don't really understand the whole week/month thing, and it takes some thought to figure out what month I am in, since I am counting weeks. What can I say, math was never my subject.

The last few weeks have been pretty good. Still have that morning nausea, but I wasn't overly tired, until this week. I did finally drop the bomb at work. That was fun! I walked into my managers office pretending that there was some advertising emergency or something, and then gave her the news. Haha. Everyone was pretty excited, so that's good. And it's more fun now that it's not a secret!

We've been taking our weekly pictures, although I am pretty behind on posting. It's funny, I feel like I looked more pregnant weeks 8-10 than I do now. Not that you will probably be able to tell, since I'm not naked (thank God) in the pictures. Gross. But there is definitely a bump there. I had pretty much been wearing more loose-fitting tops, since I hadn't told work yet. But now that the word is out, I hope to wear more normal stuff, even if I just look kind of fat. I don't plan on wearing tents exclusively throughout this pregnancy, I mean it. But I'm ready for that baby belly. Wonder how long it will take for me to retract that last statement?

Below are pictures from week 10, which were taken at a nearby park. The cowboy boots were James' idea, and I love them:

Week 11 was shot at Bull Creek. Since we haven't had any rain lately, the water was low and kind of gross. I came home immediately and washed my feet:

We took the 12 week photos in front of the famous Austin mural. I'll definitely have to come back when I am huge and take some additional pictures:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I will. No, I won't.

I'm officially in my third month of pregnany. Funny, I feel like I LOOK pregnant right now. I'm incredibly bloated. You know how when you get bloated and you can't even suck in your stomach? Yeah, that's how I feel. Everyday. Awesome. No one can tell I am pregnant, of course. Although, I read the other day that women with small frames can start showing earlier. Do you think being 4' 11" constitutes a small frame?

I thought it would be fun to make a list of the things I will or won't do while pregnant. Because we all know that you can say, "Oh, I would never complain about feeling bad after it took me so long to get pregnant. I'd enjoy it." Riiight. I would have totally said that before I got pregnant, but now? I feel like crap, OK?! It'll be fun to revisit this after the baby is born, and see just how delusional I was.

I will:
1.) Wear high heels throughout my entire pregnancy.
2.) Work out. (hahaha)
3.) Strive to thrift or refashion the majority of my maternity clothes.
4.) Have a natural childbirth experience with a midwife.
5.) Read a book on natural childbirth and a book about breastfeeding.
6.) Take a picture of myself every week and make a photobook documenting this pregnancy.

I won't:
1.) Gain more than 30 pounds.
2.) Eat for two people.
3.) Find out the sex of the baby.
4.) Eat raw sushi, feta or gorgonzola cheese (just kill me now), or drink alcohol.
5.) Dedicate all Faceboook posts to pregnancy or baby-related topics.
6.) Act like I am the only woman who has ever had a baby.

I think this is a good start. While I am officially nine weeks along, I'm a bit behind on my photo posting. Here's 8 weeks:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Project Pregnancy Pics

We have decided to start a photo project of this pregnancy. You know, since my husband is a photographer and all. We'll be taking weekly pictures of me and my stomach, but will endeavor to take these photos at Austin landmarks. Notice I said "endeavor": two weeks in and we haven't made it to any said landmark, unless you count that beautiful gate my husband built. Saturdays are the best day of the week to take photos, for me, since I work and generally look like hell at the end of the day. But a wedding photographer is usually pretty busy on Saturdays, so we'll see where this little project ends up.

First up: Seven Weeks.

I look pretty good. Not noticeably showing, but I do look slightly bloated. Um, it's because I am.