Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of 2011 in Pictures

I really can't believe this year is almost over!  It's pretty crazy how much your life can change in just one year, so I thought it would be fun to do another Picture Post recapping the year.  2011 has been another eventful year....

1.  Israel and I went on our first road trip together to Orlando to see these darlings:

Tricia's grandma Jayne and her twin sister (and my adopted grandma) Betty

And these darlings, too:

2.  We finally bought our first real mattress and drove it back home on top of our car:

3.  We started going to a small group through our church and met these two incredible people who would become our dear friends, Jenn and Zach:

4.  Israel and I went back to Orlando a couple months later, this time to celebrate our 6 month anniversary.  We enjoyed a day at Magic Kingdom and were stoked to try butter beer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

5.  Celebrated Mother's Day with all the Cuban mothers in the family and wished my mom in Kansas a merry Mother's Day as well.  Everyone joked that soon I would be celebrating Mother's Day as a mom.... little did we know that by next year Baby Girl will most likely be born right before my first Mother's Day.  :)

6.  Israel and I moved out of our first home together, a teeny tiny studio apartment, and into our cozy and bigger apartment in Coral Gables:

7.  I worked at Macy's for two months as a floater between Cosmetics and Fragrances, only to realize that retail definitely wasn't for me.  

8.  I turned 24 and my husband I celebrated my birthday a few days later with a very tasty dinner at Benihana:

9.  We went back to Kansas for a lovely visit over Labor Day weekend.  When we returned to Miami, I discovered this:

I was 7 weeks pregnant and no idea!  Although it was a surprise to us, we quickly became very excited about our baby.

11.  Israel and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on September 9, the day after I found out I was pregnant.  We first called our families and told them about the pregnancy and went out to a wonderful dinner at Olive Garden.

12.  In November, my dad drove a truck down to Miami and we packed all our belongings into the truck and our car and moved 1500 miles across the country to Topeka.  

After five months and a whole lot of morning sickness, we found out we were going to be having a little girl:

I'm so excited for 2012 and for all the new changes and adventures that will be poured into our lives!  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

21 weeks (again)

The belly is really starting to pop!!  Even my belly button is really weird right now... not exactly an outie yet, but it looks like it's actually closing up.  I'm sure in a couple weeks it will definitely be an outie for sure.  Baby Girl is growing fast!  I went over to my friend Brittany's house this morning and it was fun to  compare pregnant bellies:

Brittany's about 7 1/2 months and I'm a little over 5 months.  I can only imagine how large I will be when I'm that far along!  Pretty sure I'll have to resort to waddling.  We're also both having girls, so it was fun to talk little girl things. :)

Israel went with me to my sonogram appointment on Tuesday morning and we were so excited to finally know if we were going to have a son or daughter.  The nurse had told me before that I needed to come in with a full bladder, so about an hour before my appointment I drank two bottles of water.  I already have to go to the bathroom all the time, so this felt a little like torture!  But it was all worth it when the ultrasound technician took us back into a dimly lit room, squirted some very warm gel on my stomach, and we caught sight of our baby swimming around.  

Those are her hands near her mouth.. so precious.

Our sweet baby kept putting her hands in her mouth and just wouldn't stop moving.  She had her legs closed right up until the end, so we were really nervous the whole time!  The technician measured the size of her head, arms and legs and we even got to see her tiny brain.  They told me that I'm actually measuring at 21 weeks and not 22, and my new due date is May 2!  Crazy.  So who really knows when this little one will decide to make her grand entrance into the world.  After she had measured everything, the technician prodded my belly a little bit to try and get Baby Sanchez to move and finally she uncrossed her legs.  At least we know she's a modest little lady.  After what seemed like the longest two minutes ever, we were told that we were going to be having a little girl!  

I teared up a little because I was really wanting a girl.  Of course, I would have been happy with a boy too, but I wanted at least one girl so I'm glad we'll for sure have one.  :)  Up to this point, I had only been looking at boy clothes, not wanting to get my hopes up too high, so I'm definitely excited to buy all kinds of adorable girl clothes!  The whole way home, I was just in shock.  I couldn't believe we had finally found out what we were having and that we could use the name we've been dreaming of for months (even before I got pregnant)... which will remain a secret until the birth.  ;)  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gender Reveal Party

The party last night was a lot of fun!  Israel and I found out at my sonogram in the morning what the gender of our baby was, so it hard keeping it a secret all day!  I think I even managed to trick my mom, too. ;)  As soon as we got home from my appointment, I started making preparations for the evening-- making the cake, frosting it about four or five times just to cover the color, cleaning, and organizing things.  The big reveal was going to be later on inside of the cake.  Nobody knew but Israel and I before we cut the cake.

Our guests started arriving and we just ate and talked for a while.  This was my first time seeing my aunts and uncles since I've been back (and pregnant) so it was fun catching up with them.  We had everyone wear either a boy or girl sticker to display their guesses for the evening.  Israel and I organized an Old Wives' Tale Trivia Quiz, which we tested everyone's knowledge of old wives' tales about gender prediction.  The old wives' tales were pretty split between boy or girl for my pregnancy.  ;)

Soon it was time to finally cut the cake!  We had my parents cut it since I really wanted to see their reactions!  My dad was thinking all along it was a girl, and while that was my mom's initial guess she was swayed by the Cubans and really thought it might be a boy even though she was hoping for a girl....

It's a......

Girl!!!!!  :)

The final tally :)  

We are thrilled to meet our little girl in a few months!!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

today in pictures

I've been telling Israel for the last few days that my baby bump seemed a little smaller, but after taking this picture I take it back.  :)  Baby Sanchez is growing!

This pretty much sums up the whole weekend.  Ever since Saturday, I've been feeling completely nauseous all over again, very much like morning sickness.  At first I thought it might be the flu, but I've read that around this time because the baby is growing so much, the uterus is pushing up against your stomach and can cause nausea.  It makes sense for me because I have a very short torso.  I've been eating tons of Saltines lately.  

This afternoon I made Oreo Pops for the first time!  They're for tomorrow night to accompany the gender reveal cake.  It was pretty tedious but Israel said they were delicious so it was worth the time.  :)  

Many hours were spent in this kitchen today!  I haven't done this much baking in about... five months or so.  ;)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Link Love

We're having a small gender reveal party next Tuesday so I've been looking online for different decoration ideas.  I had no idea how many baby shower websites there were, it really reminds me of when I was obsessed with wedding blogs.  That's how detailed these showers are!  Anyway, now it seems I have a new obsession and wanted to share a few I love (though I would never have this kind of budget for a baby shower):

Bump Smitten:  This site has tons of DIY projects, baby shower ideas, maternity photo shoots and even different vendors to research

The Sweetest Occasion:  Basically more of Bump Smitten, but mainly just party ideas

Bump Smitten: Pink Elephants:

Parisian Circus


So, I have my ultrasound on Tuesday morning and we will finally find out the sex of the baby!!  I will reveal to the blog either Tuesday night or Wednesday.  Any bets on whether it's a boy or girl??  :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fast Food Nation

I'm really jealous of those preggos out there who crave fresh vegetables and fruits and don't really have a problem with the bad foods.  But let's just be real here-- this pregnant lady loves her some fries.

For those of you who've been reading since the beginning of my pregnancy know about my first trimester french fry craze.  Seriously, I don't think I could stomach anything else but fried food.  Now that the morning sickness has pretty much subsided, although I do have my occasional bad day, I have enjoyed getting to focus on healthier foods.  I do love salads a lot now and my favorite fruits are apples and oranges (it must be the citrus acid, no?).  But I still do indulge every once in a while in some fries and a good burger.

I have become quite a connoisseur of the fast food establishments and Israel has too as a result.  In Miami, the closest Sonic was 30 miles away.  That doesn't seem like a huge deal but it definitely wasn't convenient  so we only went like three times in a whole year.  Now, we literally live half a mile from the closest Sonic (I googled it).  It's awesome.

However, here's what we have learned from our recent experiences with fast food places:

- the fries at Sonic taste a little like cardboard.  Their burgers and sandwiches however are the tops.
- the fries at Burger King also taste like cardboard, but worse.  We never go here.
- McDonald's has great chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets and the fries are pretty good.
- Wendy's has the best fries of all places and their sweet and sour sauce is amazing.

So, how do you accomplish your perfect fast food meal?  Twice now, Israel and I first bought only fries at Wendy's then drove down the street to Sonic where we got half price drinks during Happy Hour and killer burgers.  Yes, we are those people.

And I've just written a whole blog post about fast food because I'm just classy like that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hunger Pains

I watched an interview recently with Jenna Fischer from back in August when she was still pregnant with her first child.  She was telling Jay Leno about the surprises she experienced during her pregnancy and the one thing I remember her talking about was... the hunger.  When she told her husband that she needed to eat soon he asked her what she wanted to eat and I loved her answer:  "There's no time for questions like that.  If you see a pregnant lady, just start throwing food at her."

My appetite has definitely increased lately and that's pretty much how I feel exactly.  Earlier today, I had eaten a bowl of cereal about an hour and a half before heading out to run a few errands.  By the time I was wandering around Barnes and Nobles, I got the most intense hunger pains of my life!  It had only been a few hours since that bowl of cereal but man was I feeling ravenous.  I usually don't feel the baby moving if I'm up and walking around, but as I was walking around the store I started feeling some pretty hard kicks!  This happened another time the other day when it had been a couple hours since I had eaten and I was at the Dollar Tree when I felt some intense karate kicks.

I immediately left Barnes and picked up a sub from Planet Sub on my way home (probably my favorite pregnancy food right now is a good sub or toasted sandwich).  And even though I was starving, when I sat down to eat, I could only eat about half of my sub along with some grapes and potato salad.  I have this huge appetite but I can only manage small meals at a time as I seem to get full a lot faster now.  That's just one of the many things that has changed since becoming pregnant.  :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lights at the Plaza

I've been talking up Kansas City to Israel for about two years now.  I mean, let's just be real here-- Topeka just isn't that much of an artsy place that has a variety of restaurants and a lot things to do.  For me, Topeka is more about the people.  But for Israel, all he's ever lived in are huge cities.  He went straight from Havana, Cuba which has a population of about 2 million and moved to Miami when he was 11 which has about the same population.  Topeka is a bit of a shock to him.  ;)  So I wanted to take him out of the city and go see the lights at the Plaza in Kansas City for a little change.

We left early in the afternoon yesterday spent the whole day there going into different shops and tried not to freeze too much.  I'm still not used to this cold weather!  It wouldn't be as bad but I can no longer button any of my coat.  Must buy larger or maternity coat soon!

After admiring pretty much every single thing in Anthropologie, we happened to see that Midnight in Paris was playing at the theater across the street.  So we bought tickets for a later show and Israel and I ate at Buca di Beppo for dinner which is a great family-style Italian place.  We've both been wanting to see Midnight in Paris for the longest time and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  It's a lovely film and the perfect ending to a perfect day.  I always have so much fun with Israel and I'm just so thankful that we can spend time together and just have the best time.  I love him quite a lot.  :)

I had another doctor's appointment this morning and we got to meet my doctor.  I was hoping we'd be able to find out the gender today but since we didn't have an ultrasound scheduled we have to wait another two weeks!  Oh my.  By then, I'll almost be 22 weeks!  Although that was a little disappointing, it's always wonderful getting to hear the baby's heartbeat.  The baby's heart was beating so fast!  Today it was 162 beats/minute.  After my nurse listened for a few seconds, she even said, "Wow!  It sounds like this baby is getting ready to go somewhere!"  Baby Sanchez sure is going to be an active one.  ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

19 Weeks

Good morning, lovelies!

As of yesterday, I am now 19 weeks!  So crazy how time flies.  Interesting story:  The first time I went to my doctor in Miami to see how far along I was, the nurse told me according to their "wheel" and the date of my last menstrual cycle, I should have been 19 weeks.  I think my mouth actually dropped and I said that simply couldn't be.  That caused a lot of confusion since I had stopped taking birth control at the end of April (not for the intention of becoming pregnant, just hated being on it).  And after you stop birth control it takes a while for your cycles to become regular again.  So, it was September and I still hadn't gotten my period but apparently I did sometime in July.  I don't think anyone really believed that I wasn't 19 weeks along until they did an ultrasound and found out I was exactly 7 weeks and 5 days.  Anyways...

I am now 19 weeks, for reals.  The baby is now about 6 inches long!  The last few weeks have been the best of my whole pregnancy and I'm so thankful for that.  It really is nice being around the rest of my family now during this time and it makes the whole process seem a little less daunting.  I have been experiencing a little more heartburn usually in the evening but it doesn't last for long at this point.  Soon, I may have to buy some Tums.  Occasionally, if I don't get enough sleep I do feel a little nauseous and I do get tired a lot easier.  But other than that, everything has been great.  The constipation and hemorrhoids have subsided for now, so that's a huge blessing.  And lately, I've been feeling more tiny kicks!  It's not consistent yet, but on most days I feel a little something now.

Current cravings:

- apples or oranges
- anything salty
- salt and vinegar chips and pickles
- salsa!!
- cheese
- cereal
- chicken

Current food aversions:

- peanut butter (although it sometimes alternates between a craving or aversion... strange)
- oatmeal
- bananas
- nuts

So... pretty much my old favorites have become my enemies.  And I still don't crave sweets.  I might eat a little bit of something if it's there but I won't go out of my way to find something sweet like before I got pregnant.

9 weeks

13 1/2 weeks

19 weeks

I am meeting my doctor here in Topeka on Monday, and we're hoping to find out the sex at that appointment!!  I say hoping because we don't have an ultrasound scheduled for that day but hopefully they'll be able to tell us on that day or soon at least!  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Burger Stand

Happy first day of December!!  This is my favorite time of the year, from December 1 until the 31st and it's officially Christmas movie season.  We kicked it off with a viewing of "Elf" last night.  That movie just makes you happy.

I was going to share some lovely food pictures with you from yesterday when Israel and I tried The Burger Stand for the first time!  But somewhere in the move, I have lost my card reader for my smaller camera.  Sad day.

I was really excited to try this place because I have heard great things about it for months now.  After debating for a little while on where to eat lunch, we settled on this place.  I ordered the Classic burger and Israel got the Smoked burger.  Thinking that sharing a "basket" of fries would be enough between us, we were both shocked when our basket looked more like a bucket of fries!!  As much as Baby Sanchez loves fries, there was no way we could have finished it just the three of us.  ;)

While I did enjoy my first experience there, I thought it was a bit pricey.  And the burgers were good, but they tasted a bit too smokey to me. Maybe it's just these crazy pregnancy hormones that make everything taste a little different to me now.  I really, really wanted to love this place because it was talked up so much, but honestly I couldn't help comparing it to Five Guys and loving Five Guys more.

I do appreciate that Topeka now has a cool, local burger place and I'm excited for that.  :)  So, good job, Burger Stand.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Cutest Hats Ever

Right now I can't stop looking at baby knit animal hats.  My baby will be born in the spring, so I don't know how realistic these warm hats are for that time of year, but I really want to try and knit one!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cultural Changes + New Baby Bump Pics

Being back in Topeka has definitely felt a bit like culture shock.  I feel like I've been living abroad somewhere far away for a year and I've just come back and I'm still surprised when I walk into a store and hear mostly English.  I also notice that I'm not the only white girl in the room, and this has been the opposite for Israel.  So it's an interesting switch.  You can read more about his perspective of living in Kansas on his new blog.

The other day I went to Dillon's (which is like Publix for you Floridians) in search of our favorite brand of canned black beans-- Goya.  Normally in Miami, I would be able to find about seven different brands just of black beans in the regular canned goods aisle, but walking into Dillon's, I only noticed one or two brands.  And they were both American.  Determined to find the right kind, I searched out the ethnic section and found a huge can of Goya.  Score.  I just couldn't get over the fact that this item I could find in any supermarket in Miami was only in the ethnic section here.

I had my first doctor's appointment in Topeka this morning, and I loved everyone in the office.  I feel way less rushed here.  We listened to the baby's heartbeat which I really loved since I haven't been able to hear it for about a month since my last appointment in Miami.  We heard it right away when the nurse pressed the Doppler right below my belly button but the baby moved away quickly.  Baby doesn't like to be prodded!  But she was able to find it again and it was a steady 150 beats per minute.  I asked the nurse practitioner about more hemorrhoid advice and I was a bit discouraged to hear that it would only get worse later.  I had been feeling so good about it lately because things in that area were waaaay better.  But oh well, I've got lots of Preparation H supplies so I'm ready for it.

I'm also concerned that I may be gaining too much weight so quickly.  I brought it up at my appointment and they told me it sounded like I was on the right track.  I've gained about seven pounds so far.  My doctor told me since I'm so short, it'll definitely be harder not to gain too much weight since I have nowhere to hide it.  I think I'm showing a LOT more than most women at this stage in the pregnancy because of my short torso.  I can literally spread out my middle finger to my thumb and that's the whole length of it, so there's nowhere for the baby to go but out!

I'm 17 weeks today, so I'm pretty sure at my next appointment we'll be able to find out if it's a boy or girl!!  We're going to wait to tell everyone else till Christmas though.  :)  Lately, I've been feeling little flutters and subtle movement from the baby.  I wasn't sure for a while what I was feeling, if it was just my stomach or the baby, but my nurse practitioner assured me I was probably feeling the baby.  It's kind of fun right before I go to bed lying on my side and feeling little Baby Sanchez move around.

And now for some new baby bump shots:

13 1/2 weeks

15 1/2 weeks

17 weeks