Meet Amelia!


Amelia Wheeler Taitingfong
August 24, 2017
7 lbs. 3 oz.

Birth Story

I woke up around 3am on the 24th having contractions. I had had a false alarm on the 18th and these contractions started out feeling like those. Instead of waking everyone up, I wiggled in pain in bed for about an hour until my mom woke up.

We had been sharing a bed for a few days because Bret was up at our apartment working while I stayed where our families live so I could give birth down here. Normally I would sleep in my room but my friend Brittany was also staying with us because my mom had to go to work during the day and someone needed to be here to take me to the hospital, just in case.

So finally my mom awoke to my moaning and movement and asked if I was okay. Lol, no I wasn’t.

We spent the next half hour or so debating whether these contractions were worth going to the hospital. We finally decided to go when they got so intense I could barely move and started vomiting (tmi?).

My mom drove like mad to the hospital (I think it was mostly because she didn’t want the baby to come in her new car). I called Bret and, luckily, he had his phone volume on high. He said he’d be down asap! And I kept reminding him to take his time and not crash on the way there (I kept telling him this because the Greys Anatomy episode where Dr. Bailey gives birth and her husband gets into a car accident on his way to the hospital was one of my biggest fears with Bret staying home to work).

We got to the hospital and they checked me into the L&D triage room. My mom and I kept praying I was dilated enough to stay (the main reason I went home when I had my false alarm). The nurse checked and concluded I was dilated enough to be admitted!

I was admitted to my own room and hooked up to every machine imaginable. One of the first things I asked was “when can I have the epidural?” Luckily, I was able to get it right away.

The epidural went in and I about cried. It felt so good to not have to feel those contractions. I know a lot of women opt for the natural, no medication births but that life is not for me. I knew from the day I saw the word “pregnant” on that test that I’d be having an epidural.

The next few hours went by slowly and Bret finally showed up. They gave me a tiny hit of pictocin to move things along more quickly. I was surprised that I was brought a lunch, lol. It was an all liquid diet but I didn’t care, I was starving!

My mom and I were talking and then all of a sudden I had this weird feeling in my butt. I asked my mom “so I have this feeling in my butt, is that me wanting to push?” And she looked at me and said “yes!”

I pushed for about an hour and a half (although it didn’t seem that long). I kept pushing but, due to the epidural, it felt like I was doing nothing, haha. The nurse kept telling me that she could see the top of her head but that she wasn’t quite there yet. But then the doctor came in, ready to deliver, took one look at me and said “this baby will be out on the next contraction.” We were all like, “wait, what?!”

And sure enough, he gave me an episiotomy and she was out! I felt a pop when her head came through and then her body. It was such an odd feeling but it was amazing. She was finally here!

I had only cried once during labor and it was pretty early on in the day when I started thinking about my dad. For about two weeks I had forced the thought of him out of my mind because I knew it would bring on a ton of emotions.

When Amelia came out, and I heard her cry, I started to cry. My mom came running over to me crying too. She knew why I was crying. Not because of labor, not because she was finally here, but because of my dad. 

Throughout this entire pregnancy I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad and how heartbroken I am that he isn’t able to meet Amelia. He loved being a grandpa to Layla and I know he would’ve loved Amelia so much. So that’s where her name comes in!

What’s In A Name

Amelia Wheeler.

No, she is not named after Amelia Earhart or Amelia Bedilia. Actually, she’s named after some of my favorite fictional characters. Amy Pond of Doctor Who, Dr. Amelia Shepard of Grey’s Anatomy, and Mia Thermopolis of The Princess Diaries. I have always loved the name and even more so because of these three strong representations of women who do great things.

For those who don’t know, my dad went by his middle name his entire life. His full name was Wheeler Nicholas Ashcraft the third. He went by Nick exclusively that when he had work nametags that said Wheeler but introduced himself as Nick, people got really confused, haha.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to honor my dad in some way, whether we were having a boy or girl, because I knew this baby was his and God’s way of saying everything would be okay after my dad died. I always liked the idea of using Wheeler more so than Nicholas because Wheeler is pretty unique (only my extended family members have Wheeler in their name).

One day at school I was thinking of middle names for Amelia with my friends and I said, “Amelia Wheeler…nah that sounds weird and Bret wouldn’t go for it.” But Brittany stopped and said, “No wait, that’s actually really cute!” So it stuck with me and it took a while, but Bret finally agreed!

The First 48 Hours

She did have some jaundice, which has been quite the roller coaster for us. She had to use a light blanket and be in the incubator for a while. But the good news is, it’s going down! Each day her eyes get a little less yellow and her skin (although you can barely tell) gets a little less yellow too.

Newborn photo

 

We are so in love with this little angel baby! She is so sweet and makes the funniest faces (she gets it from me)! I’m so happy to be her mom and raise her using all the wisdom my parents bestowed upon me.

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Bumpdate: 39 Weeks!

We’ve made it!
Baby girl is full term now and is expected to arrive any day now.

39 Weeks

How am I feeling?
Surprisingly, I feel better good! Yes, I’m exhausted and I pee about every 15 minutes, but I have so much energy to clean and organize like never before. I’ve also noticed a considerable change in my mood and stress levels since I finished the bar exam. I feel much more carefree and relaxed. Bret really enjoys this because I was so stressed during the bar exam. I actually feel like a normal person again.

Have you finished the nursery?
If you asked me during bar prep what I was struggling with most it was the inability to work on her nursery. All I wanted to do was organize and clean up her little space and get everything ready for her. The craving to next was reallllll. Now that bar prep and the exam are over, I focus almost 90% of my time on her nursery and organizing all the stuff we got from the baby shower. Annnnnnd, I’m happy to announce that I finally finished it yesterday!! (Bret needs to hang one last picture and then it’ll technically be done.)

Nursery

How is baby?
She is doing well! She is as active as ever! My favorite part of the day is when Bret comes home from work because he’ll talk to my belly for a while and she just kicks away! I already know she is going to be a daddy’s girl. My last appointment was on August 9th and the doctor said she hoped baby girl would arrive within the week even though her due date is the 19th. That kinda surprised me because I just figured she’d be late.

How did the Bar Exam go?
During my baby shower, I got asked this question the most, haha. My friend, Brittany, said it best: I had an answer for everything, whether it was correct is up to the graders. The exam was definitely difficult but also a tad more straightforward than I expected. I had taken so many practice tests with difficult issue spotting problems that I just expected some really tough questions. And, I must say, taking the exam while 9 months pregnant was not that bad! I plan on writing a blog post about taking the bar exam while pregnant so I won’t bore you with the details now.

Bookcase

What are you most excited about?
I am so excited for many things in regards to motherhood. I think I’m most excited for her to be here and grow up. I’m anxious to see who she looks like more and what kind of personality she’ll have. I’m just so anxious at this point, I keep thinking every Braxton-Hicks or contraction is gonna be the one that starts labor. One can only hope, haha!

What are you most nervous about?
I’m extremely nervous about messing her up, haha. I know every mom has that thought with their first child but I just keep thinking about all the different ways things can go wrong. But, I am confident that Bret and I will be good parents. I’m also confident that we won’t mess up the first couple days because my mom will be us, haha. Thank God I have a mom who is willing to help us out! Baby girl isn’t even here and I am so grateful for all that my mom has done for us in preparing us for her arrival.

Dresser 2

This dresser is probably the piece I’m most excited about! It was my dresser that my parents bought for my nursery and used as my changing table. I wish I had taken before pictures, though. It was a brown color with brass handles and covered in stickers. Bret sanded it down, painted it, and added the new fixtures. It is gorgeous and he did such a good job!!


We are so excited and cannot wait to meet her! Let the baby watch continue!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

It’s that time of year again!
One of the biggest summer events to look forward to is finally here:
the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

This sale is unlike any other. Why? Because everything that’s on sale is all the NEW products for fall. Most sales are full of products going out of season, but the NSale is the opposite.

It started on July 13 for early access (you bet I took a much needed bar prep study break to shop it). If you have a Nordstrom card then you get early access to shop all the amazing items before the sale opens to the public. Starting today, July 21, the sale is open to the public. So I thought I would share most of the things purchased and review them for you in case they’re on your wish list too! A lot has already sold out (so I didn’t include those items in this post) but if you have any questions, let me know!

SIZING
Currently I am 35 weeks pregnant so I have quite the bump situation. That being said, I know I won’t be pregnant forever so I got my normal sizes in most things.
I’m 5’3″ and normally wear a Medium/Large in tops.
For shoes, I typically wear 8.5-9.5 (quite the range but I have a wide foot)

CLOTHES
Some of my favorite things to purchase during the NSale are sweaters and cardigans. A lot of the cardigans I purchased are out of stock, but if it comes back in stock, the BP. one is my favorite!

Cold Shoulder Sweater

BP. Cold Shoulder Tunic Sweater
I love tunic sweaters because they can easily be worn with leggings or jeans. This one is adorable and perfect for fall!
Sizing: Medium (but runs large, I would have sized down)
ColorBurgundy Stem
Price: NSale $35.90 | After Sale $55

Plaid and Stripe Tops

BP. Plaid Shirt
I love a good plaid! Plaid shirts are so versatile and I love this years color options. I got several colors (some are out of stock now) but they are so worth it. These can be worn as a shirt or open over a tank and leggings.
Sizing: Large
ColorGreen Alpine Schy (this is a gorgeous color in person)
Price: NSale $31.90 | After Sale $49

BP. Pocket Tee
I love this years version more than last years. It’s comfortable and not too large. It does have a more oversized fit, but I find that my normal size works well with the bump. These tees are light and not too warm.
Sizing: Medium
Color: I got green, white stripes, and grey stripes
Price: NSale $18.90 | After Sale $29

Dreamers Sweater

Dreamers Forward Seam Tunic Sweater
This is, by far, the softest sweater I own. I put this on and immediately did not want to take it off (but forced myself to because it’s hot outside).
Sizing: Medium
Color: I got grey but am considering other colors
Price: NSale $29.90 | After Sale $45

Halogen Tank

Halogen Jersey Funnel Neck Top
I got these for work and wearing under cardigans in the fall. They are so stretchy and comfortable.
Sizing: Large, I sized up because it was just a tad more comfortable and they are skin tight, so I didn’t want all that hugging my post-pregnancy body.
Color: I got white, black, and green
Price: NSale $19.90 | After Sale $29

Pleione Sweater

Pleione Cold Shoulder Tie Sleeve Sweatshirt
I love cold shoulder tops and was sold on the tie detail. This sweatershirt (more like a sweater but with sweatshirt material) is so soft!
Sizing: Medium
Color: I got burgundy and green
Price: NSale $45.90 | After Sale $69

Zella High Waist Crop Leggings
This is my first of Zella leggings and I don’t know why I waited this long to try them. They are high waisted so they fit perfectly over the bump. I’ve also heard these are great for postpartum so I’m excited for that!
Sizing: XL, but I have a Large coming in the mail to see if those fit better
Color: Black
Price: NSale $33.90 | After Sale $52

PURSES
My other favorite item to purchase are purses (I have a slight obsession over them)! I only have a couple listed here because the other ones I purchased are sold out (Rebecca Minkoff Love Crossbody and Kate Spade work tote).

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Tory Burch Frida Swingpack
When I saw this in store, I knew I loved it. But then Bret said “that would be perfect for date night!” and I knew I had to have it. Any purse the boy likes is one I like! This bag looks small but holds a lot!
Color: I got light oak, but it also comes in black and french grey
Price: NSale $283.90 | After Sale $428

Green Tee Tory Bag

Tory Burch Frida Leather Satchel
I had an LV Speedy 35 and loved the size of it so I’ve been looking for a replacement of that one. This is it! The size is a good inbetween bag that’s not as small as a crossbody but not as big as a tote. This is going to my new go-to bag for everyday wear.
Color: I got light oak, but it also comes in black and french grey
Price: NSale $329.90 | After Sale $498

SHOES
This year I found some great gems that can be paired with so many different outfits!

Adidas Gazelle sneakers
Online these don’t look like much, but in person? Holy smokes, they adorable! I wasn’t sure, at first, how I would like having colored sneakers (all mine are white or grey) but I must say, I really love these. They have arch support which is perfect for me, my back, and baby bump.
Sizing: I got my normal adidas size in 8.5
Color: I got Dust Purple, they also have White
Price: NSale $59.90 | After Sale $79.95

Adidas Tubular Viral 2 sneakers
Again, I wasn’t sure how I would like having colored sneakers but these go with everything! Not only that, but they are so comfortable. It feels like I’m not wearing any shoes at all!
Sizing: I got my normal size in 9
Color: Icey Pink/White
Price: NSale $74.90 | After Sale $99.95

Vince Camuto Fileana Split Shaft booties
I love booties, mainly because my calves are too wide for tall boots. So when I find a bootie I like, I snatch them up! I knew these would be a best seller of the sale because of the color selection, price, and design. They’re plain with a enough detail to not be boring. And, they’re really comfortable!
Sizing: I went half a size up and they fit perfectly!
Color: I got Greystone Suede, but they also come in Black and Taupe
Price: NSale $99.90 | After Sale $149.95

Halogen Corbin Slide Loafer
I have been wanting a pair of mules for a while and finally bit the bullet with these, and I’m glad I did! These are super cute and pair well with so many outfits. I wore them the day after I got them (my birthday) and was obsessed with how comfortable and fun they are. Also, as a pregnant woman who finds it difficult to bend down and put on shoes, these are perfect for pregnancy!
Sizing: I went a full size up due to pregnancy swelling but I think you’d be fine going up half a size, as they are a little narrow.
Color: Leopard! But there’s also Black, Silver, and Wheat/Nude HERE
Price: NSale $59.90 | After Sale $89.95

Let me know in the comments what you’re purchasing from the NSale!

25.

Hello 25!

Yesterday I wrote about how this past year had significantly changed my life and what I hope God has in store for me for 25. Today I’d figure I’d tell you 25 things about myself, because let’s be real, I can’t do two emotional posts in a row (I think my mom would cry too much, haha).

1. I’m obsessed with all things Disney!
I’ve had a Disneyland pass since I was in middle school and it’s my favorite place to go, plus who doesn’t love Disney movies?!

2. My first (and only) car is a 1965 VW Bug.
My dad had a 1969 Bug since before my parents got married. Then his brother gave him my 1965 Bug before he passed away and my dad fixed it up. He taught me how to drive it and it’s been Blue & I ever since!

3. I have four tattoos.
My first are Roman numerals of the day my grandfather died. My second is my nieces signature from when she would write me letters while I was in college. My third is a matching tattoo with my best friend and it’s a Doctor Who quote. My fourth is a cross. My next one will most likely be for my dad.

4. Bret and I met in middle school.
My mom was his teacher for most of elementary and all of middle school, so I have known Bret’s whole family for a long time. I still remember that awkward day when our moms forced us to meet…so awkward. But, we had crushes on each other back then and they never really went away.

5. I love Pepsi and hate Coke.
The only person in my family who prefers Coke over Pepsi is my brother…
I suspect he was adopted…

6. I’m slightly addicted to Hot Cheetos.
And by slightly, I mean love them a lot.

7. Tulips are my favorite flower.
My dream is to go to a tulip festival somewhere in the world or U.S. because they literally bring a smile to my face.

8. I love going to open houses.
My dad and I used to spend our Sundays going to church, getting breakfast, then driving around San Diego County looking at houses. It’s easily one of my favorite things to do.

9. I will drive any distance for a good donut.
Bring on the devils food! If you live in SD or are visiting, go to VG’s in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. There, you have the best donut ever.

10. I get anxious when I don’t have control over a situation.
This drives Bret nuts but I’m a control freak. But it keeps our house running smoothly so is it really a bad thing?!

11. I hate tomatoes and Italian food but love salsa.
Anyone who has eaten a meal with me knows I despise pizza (despite it being one of my biggest pregnancy cravings) because I hate the red tomato sauce. But salsa, especially spicy salsa, is my all time favorite. My favorite is from Tony’s Jacal in Solana Beach (again, if you’re in SD, go!)

12. I have saved every card given to me since I was ten years old.
I have a box full of birthday, Christmas, graduation, theater, and random occasion cards. I love looking back and reading the things my family and friends had to say.

13. Survivor is my favorite reality show.
I remember my family was on a road trip for a family reunion and we watched an episode of the first season in Minnesota at my aunt’s lake cabin. After that, we were hooked. Everyone in my family watches it and we even talk about strategy and what a player’s best options are, haha.

14. I have never broken a bone.
I’m too cautious too even come close to breaking something.

15. I’m scared I’m going to mess up being a mom.
I’m sure every new mom has these fears but I feel like I’m going to mess up everything, haha. Because, let’s be real, your firstborn is the first thing you actually have to take care of. It’s not a house plant you can occasionally water that will eventually die. So I feel like I’m going to make so many mistakes and scar her for life if I don’t get her the right Christmas dress or use the right diaper. Ugh, she’s not even born yet and being a mom is already difficult.

16. I collect decks of playing cards.
I have so many from road trips, friends and family bringing me back cards from their trips, and super random ones. I’ve thought about getting rid of them but they’re all so unique and have a story that it’s hard to do.

17. I am a sexual assault survivor.
Read about my story HERE.

18. My parents are my role models.
My mom is the kindest, most understanding, God-loving person I know. I pray that I can be a great mom like her one day. My dad was the wisest, most talkative and passionate person. He was a force in his professional field and I aspire to be like him when I enter the legal field.

19. My past career goals were teacher, chef, and grocery bagger.
My mom and her family are all teachers so I figured I would’ve followed in her footsteps (but I’m not patient enough. My mom is a saint). I love cooking and baking but realized I just wasn’t passionate enough to be a chef. And, let’s be real, if grocery bagger was a career, I’d do it. I have a system and don’t like it when others bag my stuff when I shop.

20. Makeup is a slight obsession of mine.
I love being creative with eye shadows and trying new products! And I’m always on YouTube watching tutorials or reviews on new products.

21. I tell way too many stories.
I’m slowly starting to realize I’m becoming my dad….

22. I love baking and decorating cupcakes but hate eating them.
I don’t know why, but unless they’re German chocolate cupcakes, I’ll pass.

23. I’m terrified I won’t pass the bar exam.
Lord, help me!

24. I’ve only gone to one church my whole life.
My family has gone to our church since I was born and I absolutely love it. After my parents got divorced, it became my dads and my thing to go to the Early Bird service every Sunday (aka 7:30 am, ugh). But since he died, I basically refuse to go to that service because I have yet to make it through a service without crying. So now, if I go, I go to a different service. It’s a mega church so there are lots of options!

25. I would love to move away from California but I would miss my family too much.
I spend so much time with my family and I never get tired of it. I love just chilling in front of the tv with my mom, shopping with my sister and niece, and eating lunch at the place my brother works while he’s working. I love that my mom and grandpa live on the same street because my grandpa is one of the coolest guys you will ever meet and I love visiting him and hearing his stories. California is so expensive that it would make so much more sense to move anywhere else. But I would kick and scream if I had to actually leave my family (especially my mom). I love them too much!


I hope you enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me!

Now back to studying. I’ll see y’all again after the bar exam!

24.

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday.
It seems like this year has flown by.

When I reflect on this past year, it’s crazy to think about all the things that have happened and how this past year has significantly changed my life.

Last year, I posted a picture on Instagram and said that I wanted 24 to be the year of happiness. I’d say that is partly what happened.

I started 24 with my third year of law school. I figured the most exciting thing I’d do while 24 was graduate law school. Shortly thereafter, my dad died unexpectedly. Then, two days after his funeral, I found out I was pregnant.

Since November 17, my life has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions.
Heartbroken over my dads death, joyful over my pregnancy, scared about telling the world about my struggles, and elated over graduating law school.

I never thought the things that happened this year would happen. I thought it would be a longggggg time until my dad died or I would have a baby. I thought I’d be looking at my dad in the crowd at graduation while getting hooded. I thought bar prep wouldn’t be this difficult or physically painful.

I am thankful to God every day that I am alive and healthy but I can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different had those events not happened.

Who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have posted a blog about my sexual assault story, I wouldn’t be wiggling around in pain from pregnancy because my ribs and back hurt all the time, and my apartment would still be cluttered because I wouldn’t be making room for a baby.

But, honestly, as much as it pains me that my dad isn’t here and won’t be present in my daughters life, I’m glad 24 turned out the way it did.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still heartbroken over my dads early departure and cry almost every day, but I love where I’m at right now.

Yes, I’m exhausted from bar prep and pregnancy and I can’t help but think bar prep would be soooo much easier had I not been pregnant, but I think God planned this because He knew I’d come out a stronger and better person on the other side.

I’ll be the first to admit I question Gods intentions all the time. Like, why did He call my dad home, why would He bless me with a baby knowing I’m taking the bar exam, what’s the purpose of it all?

I constantly ask why in every aspect of my life and I think a big part of 25 will be learning to let go and trust that God knows what He is doing with my life. I mean, I believe that in theory, but actually putting it into practice is a lot easier said than done.

I pray that 25 will be just as rewarding, demanding, and emotional as 24. Obviously it will be because I’ll have a baby to take care of, plus a newborn (jk Bret! haha). But I’m hoping God will continue to surprise me, good or bad, because I know, if I could make it through 24, I can make it through anything.


Here are some snapshots of things that happened over this past year!

One of the first things I did as a 24 year old was go to the San Diego Comic Con for the first time! I was part of a group that performed in Masquerade, which is a costume contest (we did Star Wars). It was so much fun to walk around the floor. Above is my sister-in-law and I with the TARDIS (our fave!) and me with Bae (aka Benedict Cumberbatch).

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Before starting my 3L year, I headed over to the elementary school I went to because my mom transferred there! She’s back at teaching in the same grade as when she left the school 23ish years before! My niece and I ran around the playground playing on the jungle jim and playing tetherball (which I won every time, thank you very much).

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When I walked into my dad’s house the day after we found out, I naturally gravitated towards this chair and blanket. This chair belonged to my grandpa who passed away when I was 10 and this chair holds a ton of memories. It currently is sitting in my living and I sit in it all the time. This blanket has been on my parents bed for forever. My dad used to take the tassels on the end and tickle my nose with them. It’s still weird to think I can’t call him up and talk to him about life. Miss you, dad!

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Two days after my dad’s funeral we found out that I’m pregnant! I’m due mid-August so I’ll be 9 months pregnant while taking the bar exam. Fun stuff…. But in general, we are so excited (and I think our families are too!). It’s been 12 years since we’ve had a baby around and everyone has been itching for another, especially since both my siblings got married last year. Every day that she kicks I keep telling her to come out already…but to wait until after I take the bar, haha (it can be on the second day in the second session for all I care).

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So this is Kaila and she is dating Bret’s brother Nic. One of the greatest things that’s happened is becoming friends with her this year. She is so nice and genuine and we like all the same stuff! The best part is she’s due with a baby just a couple months after me!! So my baby girl is going to have cousin she can actually grow up with! We don’t know if it’s a boy or girl but we are dead set that it’s a boy because all her cravings and pregnancy symptoms are soooo opposite to mine!

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Last but not least, GRADUATION!! That day was so surreal. I had been waiting to graduate for so long. I had quite the bump at this point so my robe stuck out a little, it looked so funny, haha. As I was getting hooded I had to hold back tears, partly from the sun but mostly because I had wished my dad was there. But I knew that he, my grandparents, and uncles had the best seats in the house and had their own little cheering party going. He would’ve loved to have been there (I think he was more excited for me to graduate than I was, haha).


That’s it! That’s how I spent my 24th year!
Crazy how time flies!

Check back tomorrow as I share 25 things about myself and what I hope to accomplish this upcoming year!

Bumpdate: 30 Weeks!

It feels like just yesterday I was in my first trimester and now I’m in my third!!
Time sure does fly!

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How have I been feeling?
Surprisingly okay! (Insert Sherlock smirk here, haha) No, but really, besides a few aches and pains, I’m feeling pretty decent.

The only thing that has made pregnancy difficult is the back and rib pain. I sit down for most of my day, because of bar prep, and the chairs are not comfy at all, so by the end of the day I am so done! The lower right side of my back is where all my pain is and that pain travels down my right leg and creeps around to my ribs. Most of the time my ribs hurt so bad that I don’t wear a bra because it just keeps digging into the spot where it hurts most. I do have to constantly remind myself to get up and walk around to try to ease my back pain, but I also lose track of time when I’m sitting….so that doesn’t really help.

Otherwise, my health has been pretty normal by pregnancy standards. I do get heartburn just about every day, so that sucks. I also found out that the baby is sucking out all my iron so now I’m anemic and have to take an iron supplement (but the doctor said the anemia should go away after the baby is born). My doctor originally emailed me saying “you’re slightly anemic” so I thought, no biggie. But when I went to my appointment a couple days later, she was like “oh no, you’re severely anemic!” Lol oops!

I did do the hour long gestational diabetes test (good news, I don’t have it) but, boy, do I feel sorry for whoever has to do the three hour test. That drink was gross!

Cravings or Aversions?
I still can’t eat scrambled eggs, haha. I’m craving Taco Bell and pizza less and less each day. Now I’m craving salads, fruit, and chicken burgers/sandwiches (mainly from Smashburger or Board n Brew). I’m also craving Pepsi and Barq’s Root Beer like crazy, so I limit myself to one-ish caffeinated drink a day. My other love is hot cheetos, which sucks because they give me the worst heartburn ever. I’ve been trying not to eat them buuuuut sometimes I can’t help it.

Pregnancy Fashion
So, I love fashion! I love dressing up or, at least, wearing a cute outfit. I love makeup and look forward to trying new products. That being said, pregnancy (and now, bar prep) has made me so tired that I literally wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday with no makeup because I cannot muster up the strength to put effort into my outfit.

On the occasional special day of fun stuff, I’ll put in effort, but on normal bar prep days (#everyday), heck no! However, I am at the point where my clothes are snug! I did realize one thing recently though. I believe all my Dad’s clothes are at my Mom’s house right now. I have a couple shirts that I grabbed when we cleaned his house and those have been lifesavers! I’m thinking I might need to raid my Dad’s closet (never thought I’d say that, haha) so I can actually wear some comfortable shirts! (This means I’ll primarily be wearing University of Dayton shirts haha, gotta represent!)

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Bar Prep & Pregnancy
Law school was pretty easy to manage, bar prep is a different story. As I mentioned, rib and back pain is what is bothering me most, so my 10 hour days of studying are spent rubbing my ribs in hopes the pain goes away. I’m also extremely tired. I think it’s a combo of bar prep and pregnancy, but I am definitely more tired than my friends, haha.

I will be in my 9th month of pregnancy when I sit for the bar exam, and that makes me nervous. What if I have to pee every 5 seconds? What if I get ready hungry? What if the baby won’t stop kicking me and I can’t focus? What if pregnancy brain sets in hardcore and I forget all the rules?!?? And most importantly, what is she comes early?!?!?!! There’s not much I can do now except practice and study, but I will make a full report after I take the bar.

Nesting
Oh girl, whoever said nesting was not a thing, was clearly never pregnant. All I want to do right now is clean and organize my home. A week ago I spent my day off cleaning and rearranging, and I didn’t want to stop! I also have gotten very particular about decor for the baby’s room. My Mom, Bret, and I went to Temecula a couple weekends ago because I was in search of an antique tea set for her room. I literally would not stop walking around the store until I figured out the perfect one.

Baby Name?!
Once we announced the gender, we got the question of what her name will be. We have picked out her name but I’m planning on announcing it later (unless you’re at my baby shower, haha) because I want to keep something a surprise. My family and friends know but it’s a name that is so deeply special to me that I want it to be a big reveal when she’s born.

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We are counting down the days and cannot wait to meet her!!!

Dear Dad…

Dear Dad,

Today is your 67th birthday. Today is also the 4 year anniversary of your mom passing away.

This is the first birthday you will be spending in Heaven and the first birthday you won’t be here with us.

I miss you, Dad.

I thought after 6 months I wouldn’t be this torn up.
But I am.

I went to church on Easter, to the service we used to go to together, and within 5 minutes one of your friends came up to me. It was then that I realized I hadn’t been to church since the day after your service. So within 5 minutes of being at church, I was in tears. I cried throughout worship and during some parts of the sermon. I kept thinking, “Will I ever be able to come here again without crying?” I don’t want to find a new church. This is my home; I grew up in this church. But if the memory of you lingers every time I sit in our spot, I don’t think I can take it.

I don’t know what to do today.

Before Grandma passed away on your birthday 4 years ago, we would do fun things. I’ve taken you to Disneyland, the Reagan Library, a tour around La Jolla, to name a few.

After Grandma passed away, you said you wanted your birthday to become a celebration of her. So we started our family reunion. We used to hold it on your birthday or the weekend before/after. This past year we did it in August so more people could come.

But now, I’m feeling a little lost.

Should I go to the beach and eat donuts and coffee like I did in October for Grandma’s 100th birthday? Should I go to Tony’s and eat 2 beef tacos with lots of hot sauce and guacamole? Should I go to a baseball game like we did last year?

I still haven’t decided and part of me doesn’t want to decide.

I still have to remind myself every morning that you’re no longer here. So me celebrating your birthday without you just kinda makes that part worse.

So I guess I’ll just say thanks…

 For raising me.
For making me put school first.
For teaching me how to play baseball.
For teaching me how to drink wine.
For going on road trips with me.
For helping me move into my dorms and apartments.
For teaching me how to drive a manual.
For teaching me how to grill.
For teaching me how to be self-sufficient.
For teaching me about our family history.
For telling stories.
For coming to visit me in Ohio and in OC.
For supporting my high school drama department.
For sending me care packages during finals.
For holding me when I cried.
For encouraging me to go to law school.
For letting me vent about whatever was on my mind.
For giving me an example of how a father should be.
For telling me I was better than the boys I dated.
For loving Bret and our relationship.
For teaching me how to build and fix things.
For exploring San Diego County with me.
For going to church with me every Sunday.
For telling me I will pass the bar exam.
For always being there for me.
For believing in me.
For loving me unconditionally.

Words cannot describe how much I love you and wish you hadn’t left so soon.

I hope you’re having a blast in Heaven with Grandma and Jesus.

I can’t wait until I see you again.

Love always,
Lizard

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