Thursday, July 03, 2014

Baby bump pics: weeks 9-16

So I finally uploaded some belly pics! The first is me at week 9. It's hard to believe that I was ever so thin and small. Waaaaaah. I say this as I'm about to go into week 17 and I feel much more huge and a little shocked I ever looked THAT good.

For comparison, here are pics from my first pregnancy of around the same time: http://mskirkobaby.blogspot.com/2009/08/blog-post.html.


The one below is from week 14 (comparison 12-14 weeks and 15 weeks):


And this one is 16 weeks. (Comparison: Me at 17 weeks with baby #1) Roughly now. Look how much rounder!


All of these were taking in the morning before I ate any food. So you know they can't be tainted by anything but the occasional extra bloat.

I think this baby is going to be huge. Then again, I have some awesome comparisons from my first pregnancy and maybe it's not that different!

Friday, May 30, 2014

How Much Drama is a Friendship Worth?

I hate drama. 

I know some people thrive on drama. And, I'll admit a little bit keeps things interesting. A little mistake here and there or accidentally angering someone and then apologizing keeps things from getting boring. But only with quick resolution and in long-term friendships.

But what about a friendship that is new, not deep, and not committed? What if someone perceives you to have done something so terrible that they must "talk to you about it" but not so heinous that they can just permanently end the friendship, but you have a minimal investment in the friendship? Then what? How do you determine if a friendship is worth trying to work out an issue?

To me, very few friendships are worth the drama. Even some of the best friendships I ever had ended over drama. Drama that I can't even remember now. I was mad for some reason. And maybe they were too. And we just let circumstance end it.

I'm a classic extrovert. I make friends easily and I lose friends easily. Almost none of my friendships are deep. I just don't naturally foster and keep deep friendships. I don't consider myself the kind of person who "throws away" people or finds people disposable. On the contrary, I believe that, for me, friendships meet certain needs at certain times. For example, I am very good at making friends with people who are outcasts or know no one. And I consider myself a "transitional friend" to them. I bridge the gap, help them feel welcome, give them confidence, and am a person they can confide in until they can meet more friends who will meet their deeper needs. I don't believe I meet the deeper needs of most people I befriend. And I'm totally ok with this.

With this in mind, when a casual friendship hits a serious bump in the road--to the point where the other person needs to have a deep, serious conversation with me, this is where I usually decide to cut my losses and move on. Sure we can have the conversation, but the fact that you need to have it with me is enough for me to think I don't want to continue with this long-term. If, every time you have an issue, you need to sit down and have a serious talk, I'm just not sure it's worth the trouble. Yes, you care enough about our friendship to talk it out, which I appreciate. But it also signals to me that you might be a person who finds drama where there is none. And, sorry, but I can't deal with that.

If you are family, it's worth the effort. If I've been friends with you for a long time, you probably haven't done this before so I know it's not a pattern. But I just don't have that confirmation in a new or casual friendship.

But here's the tricky part: What if your kid and my kid are friends? What if they are best friends? And what if we see you all the time, so will be faced with each other regularly? Now, my decision to end a friendship is not just my decision. I'm faced with 2 choices: 1. Try and explain to my kid why she can't see her friend anymore EVERY TIME she sees her friend AND try to awkwardly be polite to the parents when I see them, or 2. Try and deal with it for the kid's sake. Try to mend the damage that's been done and move forward.

I really hate being forced into this position. But I guess I have no choice. I guess I have to try and face the drama head on and move on. Hopefully this is a one-off. Hopefully this will never happen again. But if it does, we probably won't be friends anymore. Yep, maybe it's my issue. I'm damaged and can't deal with conflict. But it's still my choice.

Ugh. What do you think?

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Body is... Confused.

I started out this pregnancy freezing cold. And I mean FREEZING cold. A few weeks ago, our house was 74 degrees and I was huddled up with a blanket. When it got to 84 later that day, I finally felt comfortable enough to remove the blanket.

It's clear to me that pre-pregnancy, I was getting back to feeling cold all the time after having been through 4ish years of pregnancy and post-partum raging hormones which kept me warm. When winter started this year (and, keep in mind, "winter" here is in the 40s and 50s), I ordered silk base layers because I was literally wearing 3-5 layers on top on any given day. No matter how much sun there was, no matter how much time I spent indoors. No matter how much time I went outside and exercised to warm up.

Then I got pregnant and hoped I'd be warm again. To the contrary, I got even colder. When the temperature inside reached below 74 degrees, I felt very, very cold. When it dips down to 65 inside, I am beyond uncomfortable. Multiple layers, warm sweaters, heavy blankets, and a heating pad barely help.

The last 3 days we've had a heatwave. It's been nice and toasty in the house. Then today it dipped down all the way to 71 inside. Brrrrrrrrrr. But now it's 73 and I'm sweating. And, I must say, I'm... confused. Am I hot? or Am I cold? Did my system need a heat jump-start or am I finally reaching the point where I'm warm again in pregnancy? At any rate it is weird to be shivering at 71 degrees and sweating at 73.... so yeah. Confused. Anyone else have this problem?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Doing it again.


We are doing it again: having another kid. Am I crazy? Well, we already know I'm pretty crazy to begin with and the last pregnancy pushed me over the edge, so I think it's safe to say yes.

But really, I'm under the watchful eye of a trained psychiatrist who is going to help me try and manage my perinatal and post partum depression this time with medication. I'm still on the Zoloft and a few other things and he and all my doctors are keeping an eye on me and the meds to make sure both me and the baby are safe.

I'm 9 weeks something and so far the second time is way easier than the first. Well, easier mentally. Physically probably a bit more challenging. I've been nauseous more intensely, but for a shorter period of time. My boobs hurt as much as the first time around and it's been harder to take care of myself because of the older child. None of these are surprising. I think I find myself more annoyed by pregnancy this time around, just because I don't have time to pamper myself like I did the first time around. And I know how much worse it gets. And I know how awesome it is when the baby comes out and I'm super impatient.

And I'm already showing a bit. And indigested all the time. But my big girl is so excited to become a big sister! And that is so fun.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Younique Fiber Mascara Review

My friend started selling this mascara and I thought I'd give it a try and share the results with you!

What: mascara and green tea fibers that you alternate putting on your lashes to build them longer and thicker. Comes with 2 separate wands: gel (looks like regular black mascara) and fibers (don't be intimidated! They go on just like mascara).

How: I will admit I was intimidated at first. But then I watched this video my friend posted and I gave it a try and it was so easy! Just put on the gel, then the fiber, then the gel and repeat to build up you lashes to your liking. I love that you can build up the lashes as long and thick as you like. Here are the results:
 

Before - No makeup!

Left eye has 3 builds, right eye has none.

After 3 builds!
What do you think? Looks good? For more info you can go here!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Eyelashes: Benefit They're Real! Mascara









Ok so a friend of mine asked me to show before and after pictures of a certain mascara but before I did I thought I'd show you how Benefit They're Real mascara looks so you can compare. So the pictures are the before, after, and then after with my eyes closed. I really love this mascara for every day although it did feel a little harsh on my lashes. I think it makes them look long and luscious, don't you?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Giving Up The Pacifiers

My baby turned 3.5 this weekend and with that came our mandatory giving up of the pacifiers. 

This girl was ATTACHED. Look at that face. A friend recommended putting the binky in a Build-a-Bear. Genius! Except I'm pretty sure AJ would have figured out a way to rip through to get to that binky again.

Here's what we did, though, and it seems to have worked. So far. Only 4 days in.

  • We talked to her about it about a month in advance then reminded her every day until the day of
  • We planned a "No More Paci Party."
  • We watched the Sesame Street/Elmo TV episode where Elmo gives up his Binky. This went a long way of helping her not feel alone and gave a voice to her feelings, which she can't really express. It also helped us to acknowledge that, yes, this is hard, but it's important as we get bigger. She watches it every day when she feels sad and misses her pacifiers
  • For the party, we decorated a box that we would put the pacifiers in to give to a new baby. AJ dictated a few words:



  • I got a few little gifts for her and wrapped them up and put them out in the morning and told her she couldn't open them until she gave up her binkies. She put them all in the box and we sealed it and took it outside before she could change her mind. Then she opened her presents.
  • We got her a bike a few days later. We made a huge deal of her being a big kid and how proud we were of her, etc. Here she is riding it with Dada:



So far, she's been sleeping without it. She mentions she wants/misses her pacifiers most days and we say we know it's hard, but she's doing great. We give her some comfort and remind her that she's big and how proud of her we are. I don't know if it helps, but she does get to sleep.

The fact that I'm still nursing her helps (yes, go ahead and judge. I about threw up when a former coworker she breast fed her kid until he was 3, I was so disgusted. Clearly I didn't plan this, but that's a whole other post). Generally it went pretty smoothly.

She's a quiet little thing (something I DO NOT understand) so I never know what's going on in that little brain and who knows if it will continue. But so far so good!


Friday, May 31, 2013

My 17-year-old Friend Hannah is Missing

This is Hannah. She's been missing for a week. She's 17 year old and
babysits for us as well as goes to our church and my friend. She was
last seen in Alameda, CA, but could be anywhere (most likely in the
Bay Area or CA). Please be on the lookout for her and if you see her
please contact me at hannahkirk at gmail or contact the police. Please
help us find her!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Jet Lagged and Possibly Cured: More tales from Italy with a 3-Year Old

Apparently jet lag is latent in my daughter. She was fine yesterday, but this morning we got up at 3:30 and just didn't get back to sleep. On the other hand for the first time in 3 years, I haven't taken my sleep medication to sleep for an entire night last night AND the night before. This is HUGE. Lets also not forget all the time changes and sleep disruptions of international travel and I think it's fair to say I'm on the upside of my PPD recovery (praise God)!

Some tips on traveling to Europe with a kid:
  1. Bring the stroller. I wavered on this. Before our trip, I read about how hard it is to maneuver them on cobblestone streets, how your stroller won't make it on narrow sidewalks and in crowds and up and down lots of steps. BUT, unless your child is too big for a stroller, bring it. I never once regretted it and many times said, "thank god we brought the stroller!" We got a fancy MacLaren Volo that easily collapses and folds out. I don't necessarily think it was necessary to get a new tiny stroller. You could have a giant BOB stroller and it would be better than none. The stroller allowed us to walk quickly (a must in Europe), our daughter to nap while we did grownup things, and provided a place to play/watch movies/play games for her when she wasn't interested in what we were doing. We folded it up and walked with it a fair amount but that wasn't strictly necessary. Two people can easily pick up a stroller to go up and down a few steps and you can plan around steps in most cases. Europe is generally very accessible and is conscientious of disabled access to buildings which makes having a stroller very doable. Just don't expect to use it for storage because you will have to pack it up once and awhile.
  2. Bring your mobile babysitter: a tablet, gaming system, or smartphone. For our parents the TV was a babysitter at home. In our world, the mobile phone is your portable babysitter. Games, movies, and hours of entertainment kept our daughter engaged in a pinch. It was mostly a last resort, but I never regretted it. It's a good idea to bring light, engaging toys with you too. We brought wiki sticks (bendaroos). Know your child and find the lightest toy that entertains them for long periods of time.
  3. Take the tours. At Pompeii and in the Vatican museum we did the tours. At the Palentine hill we didn't. With a kid you only have so many resources you can focus on a place with rich history. You cannot read the pamphlet, listen to an audio tour, push a stroller, and attend to the needs of yourself and your child while sightseeing. A tour makes it so much easier and is worth the money. Otherwise you sort of lose the value of the time and money you spend at a place.
  4. It's the kids' vacation too! Learn about the places you will visit in advance. Make it a big deal. Read books, look at pictures, and talk about it. Buy souvenirs for the kids if they ask. Set a limit of a certain number of items or amount of money, but allow some room for them to buy something they love and want within reason.
  5. Bribery. Find parks, ice cream, or some other reward for them when you can. Use it to encourage good behavior thought the day.
  6. Buy giant bottles of water at a grocery store and fill them up. It's (much) cheaper than on the go and you always have it on hand to help you and your kid(s) stay hydrated and healthy.
  7. Have picnics when you can. It's cheaper and you don't have to find food when the kids are hungry.
  8. Pack carry-ons only. This is vital if you plan to travel to more than one place. DH and I both carried a backpack and he carried/rolled our 2 small bags while I pushed AJ in the stroller. Any bigger of bags and it would have been hard to make it onto crowded trains with narrow aisles. 
  9. Plan to take it slow. Assume that it will be too much to do more than 1 big thing (2+ hours) or 2 small things (1-2 hours each) in one day. Plan for the worst and prioritize, especially for the first 1-2 jet lagged days. Avoid having a set plan for each day. We had a list of priorities. As in, while we were in Rome we wanted to see the Coliseum, the Vatican, and the Spanish Steps. We didn't specify what day we would do which, but left it open so we could choose what we wanted to do on that day or the day before. If you have time to do more, then that's great. It's VERY easy to add items to the itinerary. It's much harder to try to cut things down, especially when you already have paid or have timed tickets or people waiting for you (even without kids!).
Ok, this is enough for my jet-lagged brain today. More coming soon!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trip Report: Italy/Europe with a 3 Year Old Kid

I highly recommend traveling to Europe with your 3-year-old. No,seriously. It was awesome!

I don't know how to decouple our trip from the fact that she was there so I will be posting more than once on this.

First, what we did.

We flew SFO to Amsterdam and during our 6 hour layover, we stored our luggage and did a little sightseeing. It was my third time there and mostly we just walked around, excited to be back in Europe after 4 years.

It was a brutal journey from there. We flew to Bologna then took the bus to the train station (no train station at the Bologna airport), then took a train from bologna to Rome (a 2 hour ride that was delayed an hour). By the time we got to Rome I was about to crawl out of my skin from the exhaustion. Then we took a cab to the hotel.

During our 3 days in Rome, we saw all the usual tourist things: the Coliseum, the Vatican, Trevi fountain, the Spanish steps, and more.

Then we took a train to Napoli (Naples--I really don't get why there are different names). That was another couple hours. From there we had to take a hot, crowded, stinky, and slow train to Sorrento which took 1.5 hours.

We stayed in town of San Agnello, neighboring Sorrento. During our time there we did day trips to Pompeii, the Island of Capri, and a bus trip down and up the Amalfi coast.

After that we took a 3+ hour train ride up to Bologna and did a day trip to Florence and 1.5 days exploring Bologna.

Second, my reactions. The only reaction I will mention in this post is this:

Holy crap the first day of travel sucked! I don't recommend that to anyone! Maybe a student but definitely not a family or older adult. Fly directly to where you are going or stay for awhile where you land. Please. You will not regret it. Do you know who had the hardest time on that day of travel? Me. Who did fine? The 3 year old. So, yeah...

More reactions coming soon. And details about traveling with a kid.
It was not bad at all!! Really!!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Mother's Day Jewelry

My new hobby = handmade jewelry for all holiday gifts!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dress Up Cabinet












I made this!!! From wood. Cut, built, sanded, and painted it all myself! Woot!!

Monday, February 04, 2013

I Made These Earrings!

I feel like I might be getting a bit obsessed...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Aaaannnnddd Now I Make Jewelry



For Christmas I got the gift of a new hobby. The husband gave me a earring-making kit with all tools and needed items included. And now? I'm totally addicted. I've bought an arsenal of tools, beads, and wires. Also, a micro torch. Yeah. I'm serious.

Now I just need people to make things for. Soooo email me if you like dangly earrings and wiry necklaces!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I Cut My Baby's Hair



All by myself. And let me tell you, trying to create bangs on a toddler who is constantly trying to brush it out of her face to watch tv (or play iPhone games) is really hard. It looks better in person than in this photo. I'd say it was a success! *sniff* she has such gorgeous little girl hair!