Category Archives: FAMILY

A year ago…the start of our greatest adventure

A year ago, my husband surprised me and agreed he was finally ready to have kids. A little backstory, when we got married, almost 9 years ago, we agreed that we didn’t want to have kids and would travel more, with at least one international vacation a year. We disappointed our parents that our siblings would have to produce grandchildren, not us. Fast forward to my 33rd birthday when my biological clock started ticking and I changed my mind. Mr F may have taken some convincing but now that I’m 35 weeks pregnant, we both couldn’t be happier. Mr F is already looking forward to teaching our little girl to swim in the Puget Sound!

A year ago, when Mr F said he was finally ready, I immediately stopped taking birth control on July 15th, starting taking the most highly recommended natural prenatal vitamins and asked my doctor for all the updates in vaccines, what medications/supplements were okay or not okay to take, and told my family. They were very surprised! Shockingly, when we started looking at houses, we immediately found the perfect house in a great neighborhood, down the street from a great elementary school, so we were able to close at the end of August!

While it took a few months of trying, we were very lucky. The first month after stopping birth control, my cycle was 35 days long and I got way too excited that I was pregnant. Two friends suggested reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility to have a better understanding of what was going on. I started timing my work trips around day 20 when I noticed a temperature rise. We went to Italy on a romantic vacation in September, hoping for an Italian surprise. In December, Mr F even joined me in San Diego for a conference and monitoring visit, since it made sense to stay there for the weekend. I’m so glad he did because by December 15th, I knew I was late. When my sisters and I went to the 5th Avenue production of Little Mermaid on December 15th, I didn’t eat the sushi, to be on the safe side. On Sunday, December 19th, 2016 I had my first positive pregnancy test! My sister, Janie texted me later that day, to ask if I had taken a pregnancy test yet. Of course, I told her the exciting news, then I called Katie, Mom, and Dad. I even double checked and got a second positive pregnancy test on the 21st at my primary care doctor’s office too!  It was the best Christmas so far!

In January, we started to nickname the baby “cabbage” after watching the OA. My grandmother, Tootie, started thinking of names in Tagalog and wanted us to call the baby “Ligaya” which means happy. She didn’t even both coming up with boy names. It’s like she already knew that we were having a girl even though we wouldn’t find out for another month. I started asking several work friends for advice with pregnancy and traveling up to 80%. Most people told me to wait until after year-end reviews in March, after my first trimester. At 9 weeks, we had our first ultrasound on January 16th and heard a strong heartbeat!  On February 6th, (when I was 13 weeks pregnant,) we went in for the nuchal translucency ultrasound and additional prenatal testing.  While everything looked great and no signs of Down’s Syndrome, I waited until 20 weeks to say anything on Facebook.  I announced my pregnancy with a picture of some of my first baby purchases, a Pickles n’ Roses jumper and “Are You Kitten Me?” Freshly Picked moccasins.

When we went to Paris March 4th-13th, and with all the croissants and delicious food, I started to show! (Can you tell in this photo? I’m about 16 weeks along, too.)   On March 20th, we finally got the results of the cell free DNA test and they were negative! It also told us that we’re having a girl!!! Mr F and I immediately agreed upon a name too.    At week 21, April 13th, we got a 3D ultrasound and it was amazing to see our baby’s face!  She was kicking and wiggling for the tech because I had a doughnut beforehand and the tech said the sugar made her dance! The tech kept saying, “thank you, baby”, when she did hold still for measurements and confirmation of all her organs, length of femur, nasal bone, and looking at the 4 chambers of her heart.  This was also the week that I really felt kicking on a daily basis, and Mr. F felt it, too. I wonder if the cats notice when they sleep next to my belly at night.  At this point, I started having some issues sleeping so I really enjoyed getting a Snoogle pregnancy pillow to help me sleep on my left side.

Around 28 weeks pregnant, the first weekend in June, we took a mini babymoon to Langley, Whidbey Island  and stayed in a relaxing AirBnB across the street from the Inn at Langley.  We had amazing food including the tasting menu at the Inn.  The service was phenomenal and almost every staff member told me about their favorite pregnancy memory, or their toddler! After the babymoon, I got my results back from the glucose test and it was elevated so I had to go back for 3 hour glucose tolerance test, which fortunately came back negative! In June, we also had maternity photos  with Erin Schedler, our wedding photographer,   with pictures on the roof of our house,  by the BUMP sign down the street, my family,  and on the beach, too! My first baby shower was in mid June hosted by my matron of honor, Mandy, and it was so sweet.  I especially loved the pink champagne cake and the chocolate party favors. Mandy gave us the changing pad and cover at the baby shower. We got the SNOO bassinet in early May, the changing table from Tirto in mid June, and the nursing chair mid July. I cashed in points through work for the Chicco KeyFit30 car seat, which arrived early April, and I have a month’s supply of Honest diapers in sizes 1-3, so we are ready!

This month, I’m weeks 32-35 along, and I’m really noticing my pelvis and it’s getting harder to sit for long periods of time. Since I travel so much for work, up and down the West Coast, I got a doctor’s note at 33 weeks to stop flying. I’m grateful that my work has found more administrative tasks for me to do at home.

We also recently met the neighbors behind our house and they have a three month old baby boy. Our babies will be so close in age and will be able to go to kindergarten together at the elementary school, half a block away! Mr F’s parents also came to visit from St. Louis, this month!  We spent nearly every day for a week swimming! This last weekend, my family threw me a baby shower at the family farm in Stanwood,  and the decorations were so adorable.  I really loved all the food,  especially the 6 different kinds of Gothberg Farms goat cheese with olives, dried cherries and mango! (My sister’s mother-in-law makes the most amazing cheese!)  I also wore my mom’s maternity dress that I remember her wearing with my youngest sister! My mother in law made our baby a lovely horse print, which we nicknamed the “Momtisse”,  for the baby’s nursery too! Everyone was so generous. I’m so thankful our baby will be so well loved.

 

 

 

A sunny Saturday in Paris!

 On Saturday, we met our college friend, Megan, and her family on Rue Cler after a lovely breakfast. Our walk across the Seine and past the Eiffel Tower was picture perfect.    The weather was sunny and the temperature was cool but the best for walking all over the city. Rue Clear was filled with flowers, fresh food, and so many sights!  Our first stop was the merry go round in the Champs de Mars in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.    Megan’s adorable little girl was enchanted and her joy was infectious!    We leisurely walked along the Seine to the Musee d’Orsay. Megan’s two girls fell asleep on the way there!   We loved the Musee d’Orsay and enjoyed this curation immensely, especially the Renoir and Degas.   The former train station turned Museum building was stunning and it was fun looking for the polar bear statue, Pompon.    Maeve was such a good sport and told us to leave her at the end. She wanted to stay there!  We also loved this book in the gift shop, which hides the polar bear statue in all the famous art throughout the Musee d’Orsay.  After an outdoor lunch in the jardin de Tuileries, we took the metro to Sacre Couer. Megan helped us with the tickets and directions since she’d been to Paris several times before, including in the last month.   The Sacre Couer was super crowded however, we appreciated the view from the hilltop overlooking Paris.   Mr F and I even walked by the Moulin Rouge on our walk to dinner!   For  dinner, we went to an oyster bar, a short walk from our hotel.   We had delicious escargot and French fries too. We were too intimidated by the French oysters because they were palm sized and we were used to the smaller Washington sized oysters! We were tired after walking 11 miles on Saturday so we were happy to go to bed by 10pm! I can’t wait to tell you about Sunday, my favorite day and experiences in Paris!

I’m back and it was Katie’s birthday party today!

My sister, Katie, turned 27 yesterday 14317500_803473056872_4159216176668624715_n and we celebrated her birthday today! 14344976_803477193582_101154089755975350_n Katie’s awesome in laws own Gothberg Farms and hosted a phenomenal pizza party with their wood fire oven, 14311252_803492942022_2900117019425985146_o goat cheese, 14344837_803537333062_4187092386291517777_n and fresh garden ingredients! Mr. F and I enjoyed learning how to make pizza and creating some of the best thin crust pizzas that we’ve ever had! He also liked making several different flavor profiles, like freestyling jazz. He found it relaxing yet mindful while tending the oven.  14344264_803488016892_4392358943362671790_n There was fun teamwork, the ingredients were all fresh from Rhonda’s garden, the weather was amazing, and everyone loved the pizza. 14317482_803492827252_6563541826687119159_n My favorite pizza was the Gothberg Farms chevre, fresh pears and balsamic vinaigrette. 14316960_803487907112_9071651410132953048_n Rhonda was a great teacher too. She took us through prep, execution and delicious eating. 14344747_803492862182_5040789463414807269_n This was extra special since we rarely eat gluten anymore and thin crust is our favorite kind of pizza. We loved it all today! 14225382_803492981942_4479279108010037733_n I really enjoyed spending time with my sisters too! 14322645_803488031862_299552667230697999_n 14238168_803531869012_101508536118304891_n Katie’s carrot cake was super sweet and delicious. 14324681_803531908932_8105479228524887306_o Janie brought her energetic puppy, Daphne, or as Roy (Katie’s father-in-law) affectionately called her, “DJ”. 14333661_803537372982_7627268645182463821_n 14222108_803537338052_8203851451404619469_n13726629_803488096732_4700653166960371297_n  Surprisingly, we all wore blue today, with wavy hair so we looked even more like triplets than usual! I love my sissies!

Enjoying the summer weekend!

This weekend was jam-packed! We biked a couple hours and swam several times a day, ordered our new washer/dryer, and picked out a new bed frame and couches. We also packed up our kitchen and closets and started on other rooms as well. We dominated our task list!

We even made time to meet up with my cousin, Katy and her adorable son! 14040118_798659892492_2689889173033539547_n 13892147_798659872532_8477060862925169224_n 13912532_798659842592_7377028394046113295_n Mr. F and I had never been to Cooperleaf Restaurant and it was wonderful, especially since we had a table on the patio. It was perfect for George to run around while we caught up! He was fascinated with koi “fishies”!

This week, I’ll be traveling Monday through Friday, in Southern California for work. When I’m away from home and on the road, I try to schedule fun dinners and meet up with friends in different cities. I’m excited to see a work friend and her new baby when I fly into San Diego and later in the week, to catch up with a college friend and meet her toddlers for the first time!

Luckily, I won’t have any overnight work trips after this week until the first week of September. We still have lots more packing to do between now and the 1st!

It’s my 9 year blog anniversary!

Wow, Facebook reminded me today that I started my blog 9 years ago! This was also a reminder to blog again, more consistently! 13781731_795487879232_5335226989507747335_n My summer has been filled with swimming, traveling, and spending time with family. We swim daily (when I’m not traveling for work) usually before work at 6am and after work around 5pm, at the beach where we got married. 13782277_795037392012_7205401646083701351_n

The last two weeks have been a big deal. We bought a house, my in-laws came to visit, 13934810_797357213072_3396477207083056595_n13962603_797375037352_2889578823968142161_n and Mr. F and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary!!   13879423_796614112252_3610660755778258583_n 13895406_796711222642_4474149117133207801_n  We will close on our new house, August 31st! I can’t wait to share more photos soon.

Between now and when we move at the end of the month, I’ll travel to St. Louis, San Diego, Pasadena, and Vancouver, B.C. for work!

Recent Seattle restaurant reviews

My next reviews are in the Seattle Frelard, Ballard and Eastlake neighborhoods, where I mostly frequent, and get to via bike easily. (I also wrote this post prior to Mr. F making dinner…so I was hungry…)

Tarsen I Jane

13198454_783543750362_6424228620012600562_o We went less than a month ago within a week of their opening night. They had awesome presentation, tasty bites (literally), and a cool atmosphere. We love their Spanish wine selection. The chefs are present in the open kitchen and friendly. However, I wish I had been brave enough to tell them that their food is way too expensive for the amount they serve, and that they need more than 5 bites in each dish, especially when it’s deemed an entree. Hopefully, the quantity to price point won’t put them under too quickly. They really pushed the tasting menu as the best deal, which we declined since we wanted little to no grain and the main entree was their paella. Overall, I’d go back if they increased their portions.

(This is right next to Frelard Pizza on NW Leary, which is loud and very child friendly. I prefer Ballard Pizza Company, which is the same restaurant group, but this space is more intimate and the pizza is better cooked. They also have a new location in South Lake Union.)

Marine Hardware

13340111_786261314342_8284043810648416068_o This is a perfect date night spot. Marine Hardware shares the building with the Walrus & Carpenter, Barnacle, and Staple & Fancy. This new Ethan Stowell concept was a small space but it worked. They had cool 90s hits playing and every course of the tasting menu was tailored to our preferences. We loved their steak tartare almost as much as the Walrus & Carpenter’s next door. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I’m still drooling over the classic preparation with celery puree. I can’t wait to go back soon and try more of their dishes! 13308618_786339362932_7153069358778640991_o

Sushi Kappo Temura

13391545_786718044052_3708864163352142685_o The healthy Japanese brunch options are our favorite for chill Saturday and Sunday mornings. Mr F loves their sashimi and I love the non-rice fish selections too. We enjoy going here for dinner or brunch, but sometimes forget to go, since it’s not within easy walking distance of our house. It’s also a large restaurant and centrally located.

My most loved restaurant still remains, La Isla. We’re there almost every week. Mr. F and I enjoy getting the camerones during happy hour and I also like getting the pina colada. 13147761_782742580912_1018508227466323576_o My absolute favorite meal is the pernil pastleon, which is basically a healthier lasagna with plantains and Ma’s Lil’ peppers. We usually ask for the en Fuego sauce to accompany the garlic sauce too! It’s a perfect compliment to the cheese and pork.   11225414_755721815742_595450579947374705_o If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, it would be the pernil pastelon!

Christmas catch up

It’s amazing that it’s already 2016 and that it’s been a few weeks since Christmas. We just took the Christmas tree down yesterday and the cats were sad to lose their new hiding spot. image We celebrated Christmas day at my parents house, image along with my grandparents, Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Mr. F and I saw Star Wars the weekend after Christmas and it was as amazing as we hoped!  image I love how there were so many tie ins to the original episodes! image Later that weekend, we noticed that one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Revel, had an awesome Darth Vader painting on the wall too! image

I’m loving my new yoga pants that I got for Christmas from my sisters image and in laws. image Three days after Christmas, we left on vacation to Maui!!! I can’t wait to tell you more in my next posts!