3 years together

What!?!  How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!

When it became official: The Kiss

 

 

60 days

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…..60!  That’s about it from this point. It is amazing to think we are in the home stretch of this long waiting game for baby. But, we are SO very excited to meet this little guy. Last night, we worked on our birth plan “wish list.” Of course, the day of will likely throw us some curve balls, but we are hoping that as long as everything progresses well and the baby isn’t in any distress that we can have the labor and delivery we both imagine. The baby room is coming together bit by bit and last night we washed his little baby clothes. Everything is so tiny! Of course, only he knows exactly when he is coming but we like to pretend that this 60 day estimated due date is it.

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sunday adventure

Yesterday David woke up and said, “Want to go for a Sunday drive?” We didn’t have a real plan but decided that we wanted to avoid highways and just follow the back roads and see  where they took us. Packing a few snacks, we got into the car and started our journey. An hour and a little bit later, we found ourselves in Salem. The streets were completely quiet as families stayed in to enjoy their restful Sunday morning. We walked the old cobblestone streets to the wharf and slowly made our way around the town. Before heading back in the car, we grabbed some pizza and lattes. We took little detours all the way home and truly enjoyed our “Sunday Drive.” A random journey really did turn into a special Sunday together!

 

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childbirth class

Ten couples sit in a semi-circle in the basement room of the hospital.  We are there to learn about the natural process of childbirth. Sitting there, David and I cannot stop laughing at the humor of this setting. We are all educated adults and yet this natural human act of giving birth to a child is so mystifying that we have all registered for a four week course. The room is quiet when we first arrive as couples check in and get their name tags. I can not help but glance around at all the bumps I am surrounded by.  This was the first time I was in the room with so many fellow pregnant ladies and honestly it felt great. It felt like I was among “my people.” Our instructor is super nice and introduced herself as a mother, nurse, and educator. And with that we began our natural childbirth class.

I am hoping that in the end of these four weeks, I will have a clearer understanding of what “textbook” delivery looks like. When everything goes according to plan: What is happening to one’s body? What is happening to the baby? How can you tell when it is time to go to the hospital? What pain management options are available?  How can you unpack your delivery wishlist? How can I have the delivery I imagine for myself and my baby? It feels like I should somehow know the answers to these questions already. Since I am pregnant shouldn’t my primal pregnant brain take over and just somehow know? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that and I am hoping that David and I not only answer these questions but actually feel prepared for this journey soon.

Scanning the room it was clear that each one of us was having a very different pregnancy experience. Age is not the only indicator, but as we warm up and start to share stories about our baby bellies, it becomes apparent that our symptoms of pregnancy run the gamut. I will definitely admit that having the latest estimated due date in the group leaves me with a little bump envy. I couldn’t help but ask David if we were in the right place and if we were really pregnant?  He laughed and just said our guy is little but yes you are most definitely pregnant! The first night was all about getting to the basics of human anatomy during childbirth and giving an overview of the courses topics. I am currently a little intimidated by all of the reading we have to do.  The cute purple folders passed out contained dozens and dozens of handouts and recommended reading lists.  And, for someone who is SO type A like myself, these “suggested” materials immediately get put under the “mandatory” category in my eyes. Yes, I know every woman’s experience will be different and that there is not “test” I am studying for, but somehow being as informed as I can be gives me comfort (perhaps that is the historian in me).

The best part of the birth class was the last fifteen minutes. Spread out in our couplings, we laid down on yoga mats with pillows, closed our eyes and were led through a relaxation exercise. AH!  It was divine.  At first, I felt so tense on the mat and my mind kept wandering off to my to-do list, but I gently tugged it back a few times and by the end of the exercise, I truly felt like I relaxed. Even the little guy who was poking my ribs and bobbing around in my tummy when I first laid down went completely still by the end. It was actually quite a cool experience. Our only  real homework from class is to practice these relaxation techniques and David is super cute and excited to help guide me through them.  I think these next four weeks will end up being quite insightful, fun, and will allow us to hopefully make friends with other couples in the area who share our June arrival month.

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third trimester “to do list”

Whenever I get nervous or overwhelmed my go to is to create a “to-do list.” I know that it is a little weird but it just helps me to organize the chaos around me and helps me feel productive.  With the list in hand, I can believe that one by one it will all get done.  Yesterday, was an overwhelming day as I watched my April calendar go from manageable to overcrowded. Taking a few minutes to myself, I decided it would probably be a good idea to think about creating a third trimester to do list. The school year will inevitable throw me a curve ball as the final months wind down, but somehow this seems natural and non-intimidating. However, this baby business is just so new to David and I and, even though many of our loved ones have given us great advice, until we walk through this experience we just won’t really understand how dramatic the change will be. Fingers are crossed that this “to do for the countdown to baby” helps us stay focused and as stress-free as possible as we inch ever closer to his arrival.

Third Trimester: To Do

Finances & Paperwork:

  • Continue to budget for Baby

  • Life insurance/Create a Will

  • Put money aside for Hospital Bill

  • Update 401K plans

  • Put baby on Healthcare

Preparation:

Getting Close:

  • Create Birth Plan/Birth Preferences

  • Get Breast Pump prescription

  • Install Car Seat

  • Pack Hospital Bag:

    • Insurance information, hospital forms, birth plan, picture ids

    • 2 pairs of socks

    • robe and loose pajamas (2)

    • Underwear and maxi pads

    • flip flops

    • sweater/sweatshirt

    • Extra towel

    • Pillow

    • Tennis balls (2)

    • Snacks

    • Bathing suits

    • Comfortable shoes (slippers?)

    • Maternity bras & nursing pads

    • Lip balm

    • Toiletries: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brushes, shampoo/conditioner, soap

    • Eye glasses and contacts

    • Cell phone and charge

    • Camera

    • Sugar free sucking candies

    • Small bag of change of clothes for David

    • Comfortable going home outfit

    • Nursing pillow

    • Coming home outfit for baby

    • diapers, diaper cream, wipes

    • Blanket

    • Pacifier

    • Hat

    • Scratch mittens

Sheesh this is a long to do list but somehow getting it down makes it seem more manageable even though it takes a few scrolls to see the list in all of its beauty.  Can I ask if I am missing anything?  What did you or would you include for a hospital bag?  Any additions I should make?  Let me know what your experiences with the third trimester have been like because I am SO open to suggestions!

goodbye second trimester

Gosh time is flying by!  I cannot believe I am finished with my second trimester. It truly feels like just yesterday we found out the happy news that we were expecting a little one and now there are only 85 days left until his estimated arrival. Ironically, it somehow stills feels like the end of the school year is a long way off.  How can it be that the end of the school year feels so distant yet the arrival of our little  one (which is for the same time) feels imminent?  David and I start our Natural Childbirth classes on Sunday.  Things are starting to get very real! I am super nervous about the class. I hope that whatever they teach us can actually be applied when the moment arrives, but I guess there is really no way of knowing, right?

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The second trimester has definitely been my favorite so far. I have felt energetic, playful, and excited. Exercising and eating well have been my prerogatives and despite the one week hiatus on the cruise, I feel like I accomplished both mostly successfully. The baby is kicking up a storm these days and it is amazing to reflect on how the littlest motions of the early months, that felt like bubbles, have become much more prominent kicks. Sometimes you can even see the motion externally like waves on the sea. This is my favorite part. It is so cool to be sitting at home or at work and all of sudden see a stomach flick or twitch. I cannot help but smile and wonder what he is up to in there. David and I talk to him constantly and every now and then he responds with a kick.  Usually though when we place a hand on my stomach all of his activity quiets. I like to think that he feels soothed by this. Watching David interact with my tummy is so darn cute. I just cannot wait to hold the little man and see David hold him too. I definitely am enjoying this selfish period where I get the baby all to myself though.  All of his motions are mine, but it will be wonderful to share him with David in a few more weeks.

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This middle period of pregnancy has been interesting.  My body is definitely changing and it is clear that I am not just putting on weight but am pregnant. I have shifted up in clothes and cannot get enough of maxi dresses. It feels so nice to float around in mostly pajamas. My favorite maxi’s have come from Destination Maternity and they are just so light and airy. Some other favorites include: Mustela lotions and my latest obsession for vanilla smoothies. What I love about this smoothie is that it is so filling. Usually after a full day of class, I rush into the lunch room and gobble up everything in my path. This smoothie though keeps me tempered and able to think about lunch before just shoving my face on to the plate. I have been spending time reading up on breastfeeding and baby sleep patterns and I find it to be quite an interesting lesson on human anatomy.  I keep stopping and reading a loud to David, “Did you know that the human body does….” Pure Barre is still my favorite exercise of choice and I am teaching Pilates this trimester at school in the afternoon program and bought some of the pure barre equipment for the girls. I am hoping to incorporate some of the exercises in for them.

The really big changes to daily life have included:

An epic appetite and insatiable thirst for water

A deep desire to nest around the house and prepare the baby’s room

An ever growing tummy

A new need for foot and ankle rubs from David after long days at work

Constant motion from the little man, he is up to 10 kicks every 30 minutes or so

A lack of consistent sleep at night (I always seem to wake up from 2:30-3:30AM)

A bedtime of 9:30PM (at the latest)

A feeling like this is going to happen SO soon and I need to READ everything I can now!

A constant joy about this next chapter (with a little anxiety about the delivery!)

Goodbye to my second trimester.  You treated me well and helped me feel more and more like a mother-to-be. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the third trimester is not plagued with aches and pains.  Let’s hope that the transition continues along this smooth path. And, as always I am grateful and thankful for my personal miracle.

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four years.

I woke up this morning and happily welcomed two things about today: Spring Break begins at 2:15PM and four years ago, David asked me to marry him. Spring Break is clearly exciting especially as we have a BIG family vacation planned in 7 days {pictures and updates sure to follow} but this morning I am blissfully reminiscent of what happened four years ago.

We had just landed in Rome and settled into our hotel. After a quick shower from the flight, we headed out to explore the area around us. Our hotel was located one block away from the Colosseum. The day was clear, bright, and warmish for March and we slowly walked up to the massive ancient ruin. David seemed quiet but I just thought that was due to jet lag. I started to share my nerdy love of history and that’s when David grabbed my hand and rushed straight pass the Colosseum! He said he wanted to go into the gardens that dotted the hill overlooking the ruin.  A little taken aback that he would just “skip” the Colosseum for gardens, I followed along, besides it was his first time in Rome after all. We headed up to Appian Hill and then it happened, the proposal, the “Yes!,” the tears, the joy, the hugs and kisses, and the “wow this is real!” It was wonderful and has been wonderful since.

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But this morning wasn’t just about remembering that moment with deep joy and fondness, but David and I also spent time this morning reflecting on all that has happened in these past four years. It is amazing to see our lives in that moment and how they have grown and changed to today. We are just so grateful for each other and for the many blessings we have shared and continue to share on this journey together. He is my sweetest friend and I am just so happy to have such an amazing individual to share my life with.

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David & Melissa Zippin October 2010

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spicy pork & mustard green soup

My cravings primarily come in two categories: salty and spicy. I find myself picking the spiciest item on the menu or adding drizzles of Sriracha sauce to everything (including my lunchtime salads!). This little dude has a “hot” tooth and I find myself giving in to it every day.  Thankfully,David already was a spicy food eater otherwise this latest phase of food cravings would be miserable for him. I sort of want to try a chicken wing eating contest with him now to see who can handle the hottest of hot. Prior to the baby-to-be, I wasn’t a lightweight when it came to spice but I definitely feel a new level of spice competency! It is my latest “super power” perhaps?

Last night for dinner in order to tap into this craving, we cooked up a spicy pork and mustard green soup from Bon Appetit. With David helping as my sous chef, cleaning the greens and dicing the scallions, the dinner from beginning to end took no longer than 20 minutes to make. Super easy, spicy, and flavorful my craving was satiated….for now. (Though a drizzle of Sriracha really added just that little bit extra I needed).

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things only pregnant women think…

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My thoughts have been consumed by food this week. When will I eat lunch? What is for lunch? Is there a snack in the faculty room? Can I convince David to go out for Thai food tonight? Will there be enough dinner to share between the two of us? These are just a few of the questions I ask myself multiple times everyday. It is clear that my body is busy busy busy growing this little boy and that my stomach and appetite have not yet been affected by a constrained size but have rather been enhanced by my new maternal burden. Whenever I see someone eating, even if it is just someone passing by in a car, my stomach is triggered and I am immediately famished! Full and content one moment, the smell of food can instigate hunger pangs instantly. It has gotten to the point that I sometimes have to stop myself and say, “Whoa…are you really hungry or are you just being a food-crazed pregnant woman right now?” Typically the answer to the question is the latter. When I am able to reflect past my hunger mood swings, I am left laughing from my ridiculous food thoughts. The other afternoon for example, I walked out of my classroom and there on the ground in the hallway was one lone gummy bear. He stared up at me with his delicious gummy self and I felt compelled to bend down and gobble him up. There I stood deeply conflicted. I wanted to clean up the gummy bear from the floor in order to keep the school tidy, but what if I was unable to stop myself from eating the gummy bear once I bent down to pick it up!? Clearly I restrained myself but laughing I was left thinking, “This is clearly only something that a pregnant woman thinks!”