Category Archives: Life & Love

Baby Dale Bumpdate: First Trimester (Weeks 3-13)

Hello blog world! :) We shared some very exciting news on social media a couple weeks back: Walker and I are having a baby!!! We are so thrilled to be expanding our little family with our first baby (well, unless you count our fur baby) in August. Since most of our family and many friends all live far away, I wanted to get back into blogging again so we can share our pregnancy journey with you all!

If you have no interest in the weekly goings-on of my pregnancy so far, best stop reading now… this post is a long one, as it compiles all of my weekly logs for the first trimester! Going forward, I will post a quick weekly “bumpdate” to document our little adventure as it unfolds. Thank you again for your sweet well-wishes. This babe is already so lucky to be surrounded with such love!

So here we gooooooooo!

How I Found Out

After taking a couple of early pregnancy tests that turned out to be negative (or shadows of lines too faint to be definitive), I decided to take another test on the morning of Friday, December 9. At first when I looked at the test, I wasn’t sure I really saw anything. But after letting it sit another couple of minutes, I was beyond delighted to see the faintest of faint pink lines on the test! I immediately flopped on my bed a laughed, cried tears of joy, and prayed that this was really it! After two previous heartbreaking pregnancy losses over the past few months, I was so ready for a Christmas miracle! I couldn’t stop staring at that little faint line, hoping that this baby would stick. I knew it was silly to get my hopes up so early (only three weeks and two days pregnant!), but I really couldn’t help it!

Feeling overjoyed and more than a bit anxious, I got in the car to go to work. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You (‘You, Baby!’)” came on and I shamelessly wept through the entire thing with a smile on my face! It was all true: all I wanted for Christmas was you, baby… more than you will ever know. After replaying it about 30 times, I went to work and unsuccessfully tried to focus on work instead of on that little pink line. On lunch, I decided to go buy some supplies to create a fun way to tell Walker. I wasn’t ready yet, but I told myself that if my line was darker on the next morning’s test, I wanted to surprise him on Saturday!

How I Told Walker

As planned, I took a another pregnancy test on the morning of Saturday, December 10, and the line was shockingly much darker than the previous day (and darker than even the best lines I had received during my previous two losses)! I was so elated! Even though it was still so early and we had been so disappointed before, the strength of the morning’s line gave me hope and I knew it was definitely time to tell Walker. I felt that, for better or worse, I needed him along for the ride as soon as possible!

Armed with my supplies from the previous day, I wrapped up his surprise! I had purchased a little candy cane tube full of stickers, as it looked like it was the perfect size to fit a pregnancy test. I wrapped it with red paper, created stripes with iridescent tape, put the test inside, added a bow for the finishing touch, and placed it into his stocking. He immediately started asking about his stocking stuffer, so I told him that he should just open it! He protested for a minute, saying it wasn’t Christmas yet, but eventually gave in to my insisting.

When he opened the gift and saw the positive test, he was excited but definitely expressed a cautious optimism, not wanting to get his hopes up just yet after our previous losses. I understood completely, but the more we talked about the prospect and how hopeful I was feeling based on the strength of the positive line in comparison to previous experiences, the more inevitably excited we both got. In no time, we were both on cloud nine at the idea that this baby was even a possibility! We spent the entire day in the Christmas spirit, heightened exponentially by the idea that this could really be our little Christmas miracle!

Week 3: December 7 – 13

Baby is now the size of: smaller than a seed!

I’m Feeling: so overwhelmed with happiness that we are pregnant!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeee! At first, I really didn’t want to get my hopes up after all we have been through. However, as the week progressed and the pink lines were getting undeniably stronger every day, I couldn’t help but just let the excitement wash over me! I got blood work done on Mon, Dec 12, to test hormone levels, but have not had a chance to speak with the doctor about whether not the levels are on track (I will in the next few days into week 4… so anxious to finally get some good news!).
Physical Symptoms: nothing major so far at all, other than the occasional twinge in my uterus. I have also been constantly chilly (my body is too busy working hard to warm my fingers and toes!) and had a few nights of restless legs.
Movement: nothing yet of course, although it was very cool to feel twinges as my little blastocyst baby implanted!
Sleep: I’ve been a little tired, and having some pretty vivid dreams early in the week, but otherwise sleeping well!
Food Cravings: nothing yet!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? no, thankfully!
Miss Anything? so far I am too over the moon to miss anything at all! Just so happy to be pregnant! Okay, okay… so I missed not being able to have a glass of champagne to celebrate at our tapas date night dinner on Saturday, but our little Christmas miracle is SO worth it! :)

Can’t Live Without: Walker! Oh, and First Response pregnancy tests! It was so amazing to see the pink lines getting stronger every single day! By the time the week was over, the test line was pretty much as dark as the control line! It makes me feel hopeful that our little one is growing and becoming a healthy little embryo!
Best Moment This Week: How to choose!? Finding out I was pregnant, telling Walker the incredible news, having a beautiful weekend of Christmas cheer with my handsome hubby, getting strong pink lines on all of my tests, and FINALLY getting a positive digital test are all contenders. It has been an absolutely amazing few days! :)
Looking Forward To/Excited About: EVERYTHING!!! I can’t wait to speak with the doctor about Monday’s blood work results to make sure things are progressing as they should. Assuming all is well, I am so excited to tell our families (in person!) over the next few weeks on our holiday travels!! Finally, I’m so psyched for our first doctor appointment!

Notes: Very faint positive on Friday, December 9 (9dpo). Faint positives on Saturday & Sunday, December 10 & 11. Standard positives on Monday & Tuesday, December 12 & 13. Blood work taken on Monday, December 12 (3w5d), that showed HCG was 62.2 and progesterone was 26.23!

Week 4: December 14 – 20

Baby is now the size of: a poppy seed!

I’m Feeling:  I was feeling a little nervous going in to week 4, as I had both prior early miscarriages around this time. However, seeing the test lines getting super dark (darker than the control line!), as well as getting great blood work results from the doctor made me hopeful that we were not in for the same fate this time around! After the test results, I felt over-the-moon excited and ready to share the news with a select few people!
Physical Symptoms: I had a few dull cramps at the end of week 3 and the first couple days of week 4 (right around my missed period) that made me a little nervous, since that was the time I lost the first two pregnancies. However, Aunt Flo was nowhere to be seen and the cramps faded, leaving me with just some bloating, chills, and restless legs!
Movement: not yet! I want this baby to stay put! :)
Sleep: I’ve been sleeping like a rock, with the exception of some restless legs before bed (cured with some stretching).
Food Cravings: nothing yet!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? nope! I am managing to avoid morning sickness so far!
Miss Anything? not really, although it would have been fun to have a celebratory beer with my favorite graduate this weekend! :)

Can’t Live Without: my family! I love them all so much and am so grateful I got to spend such a special weekend (in the bitter cold!) celebrating with them. Also (once again) First Response pregnancy tests! Seeing those pink lines get darker and darker was the only thing that kept me sane this week!
Best Moment This Week: this is a toss up between seeing my brother graduate from college and telling my family that we are expecting! It was such an incredibly special weekend celebrating new adventures to come for all of the West family!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: SO MANY THINGS! I am excited to get my blood work results done at 5 weeks to make sure everything is on track. I am so so so pumped for the Christmas holiday in Nebraska next week with the Dales, especially because we intend to surprise them with our good news on Christmas Eve (and then tell his grandparents on Christmas day)!! I am also looking forward to getting back to California and having our 6(-ish… almost 7) week appointment with the nurse practitioner on January 3rd to go over the basics and do additional blood work!

Notes: Standard positive on Wednesday, December 14. Blood work taken on Wednesday, December 14, that showed HCG was 184.1 and progesterone was 24.34! Strong positives from Thursday, December 15, to Tuesday, December 20.

Week 5: December 21 – 27

Baby is now the size of: a peppercorn!

I’m Feeling: full of holiday cheer! My heart is full. It was another very special week, getting great blood work results and then sharing our great news with all of the Dales! I feel like I have been floating around on a happy little Christmas cloud,  soaking up all of the love and excitement surrounding us now that both families know about our little Christmas miracle!
Physical Symptoms: right on cue, my first wave of nausea decided to hit me as we were sitting in the airport waiting to get on our flights for Nebraska! Bahhhh! Surviving on carbohydrates, yogurt, and spearmint gum, I managed to make it in one piece! Otherwise, my previous symptoms of chills, bloating, a little fatigue, and restless legs have continued.
Movement: nope!
Sleep: sleeping in a new bed was a little tough on the sleeping routine this week, but I slept fairly well for the most part. My restless legs were definitely a factor in having trouble falling asleep too, but stretching helped!
Food Cravings: starting the day after Christmas, I started to crave citrus and bright, fresh flavors. According to an old wives’ tale, that could mean I am having a girl!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? nothing specific is causing it, but I am definitely queasy throughout the day!
Miss Anything? by the end of week 5, I was starting to miss my appetite! Food aversions were starting to creep in and change meal time for me! Food I usually love started to sound “meh” to me.

Can’t Live Without: the Dales! All of them! Sharing our news with Walker’s family was just incredible. My favorite part was hearing everyone’s stories about their own experiences with pregnancy and starting a family, as well as tales from the boys as babies! It was so great to enjoy the advice, support, and laughs.
Best Moment This Week: telling the Dales that we are expecting, of course! It came in a few waves. First, we told Ben & Karen on the 23rd. Then we surprised Bob & Susan on Christmas Eve. Finally, we told Grandma, Grandpa, Meg, Samantha, and Joel on Christmas Day. It was so much fun to see the look of surprise on everyone’s faces as they realized we were adding a little one to the family!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: looking forward to New Years Eve and Day with my hubby! As much as we will miss everyone, it will be nice to get home and have a few days to relax together before we have to go back to the real world! Also, I can’t wait for our first appointment with the nurse practitioner on Jan 3rd!

Notes: Strong positive on Wednesday, December 21, and my last pregnancy test! Blood work taken on Wednesday, December 21, that showed HCG was 5975.5 and progesterone was 21.37!

Week 6: December 28 – January 3

Baby is now the size of: a sweet pea!

I’m Feeling: like this is starting to feel real! Concluding the week with our nurse practitioners appointment and scheduling our 8 and 12 week scans made this whole thing feel like it is actually happening (not just in the beginning stages of something that will happen soon)! I am grateful that we had the holidays and traveling as a distraction for some of the early weeks before things started really rolling.
Physical Symptoms: chills, bloating, restless legs, nausea, and a little fatigue as usual, but I did actually get sick once this week for the first time as well (before heading to the airport again, of course… perfect timing!).
Movement: nothing yet!
Sleep: I slept so well once I was back in my own bed!
Food Cravings: lemon and ginger (a nausea life saver)! I have also found having milk or kefir in the mornings quenches my thirst and soothes my stomach a little bit, making breakfast more palatable.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? brushing my teeth!! Ugh! Surviving the process without feeling nauseous or getting sick is a rare and huge accomplishment.
Miss Anything? nothing really! I feel very content this week. Ben & Karen were even sweet enough to bring sparkling cider to New Years Eve so I had something bubbly to drink at midnight! :)

Can’t Live Without: ginger mints from Trader Joes! Especially when I was traveling back to California, the ginger helped soothe my nausea while we were out and about. At home, I have been drinking a lemon ginger tea for the same effect.
Best Moment This Week: celebrating the 6th anniversary of our first date on New Years Day with my sweet hubby! As our fun tradition requires, we ate lunch at Granville, our first date restaurant, and found a photo booth to take some silly photos. It is always so wonderful to start the new year full of love, nostalgia, and excitement for the future! Another great moment this week was our nurse practitioner’s appointment on Tuesday (January 3). The nurse gave us a brief overview of the next few months, answered some of our questions, gave us a ton of info, and let us schedule our 8 week scan!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: our 8 week ultrasound on Friday, January 13!!! I am so excited to see our little peanut and hopefully see/hear a strong heartbeat! Oh, and Walker’s 34th birthday on January 4 and my 30th birthday on January 11 will be pretty cool too! BUT NOT NEARLY AS COOL AS ULTRASOUND DAY!!

Notes: Blood work taken on Tuesday, January 3, that showed HCG was 97043.9 (!!) and progesterone was 16.10. Although the nurse was happy with the HCG, she doesn’t want progesterone to drop below 15, so she is having me retest in a week.

Week 7: January 4 – 10

Baby is now the size of: a blueberry!

I’m Feeling: so happy! I got nervous when my symptoms seemed to disappear for a couple days, but they reappeared with a vengeance. Also, it was a relief to get blood work done at the end of the week confirming my progesterone looked great! Otherwise, it has been fun to celebrate Walker’s 34th birthday and start to the new year with our little secret!
Physical Symptoms: morning sickness has indeed become often getting sick in the mornings in addition to the random waves of nausea throughout the day. Toward the end of the week, it switched to night sickness! I am also beginning to feel like my little belly is no longer just bloating… I really can’t suck it in anymore! No bump yet but definitely thickening up! In addition, this week brought with it food aversions and a lack of appetite. Still battling chills and fatigue as well.
Movement: nothing yet!
Sleep: sleep has been fine! Restless legs seems to have calmed down a little bit, which has helped with falling asleep too.
Food Cravings: I have been having food aversions rather than food cravings. Or rather, the aversion to most food in general. The waves of no appetite come and go, but when they do, the only things that seem to help are chocolate chip power bars and any bland carbs.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? brushing my teeth is still a struggle! But nothing else specific is triggering nausea.
Miss Anything? on the days that I have no appetite, I miss wanting to eat normal meals! And on the days where I can eat normal food, I miss being able to keep it down.

Can’t Live Without: chocolate chip Cliff Bars! I have one in the morning before I get out of bed, and it started to help with the morning part of the morning sickness. I have also been able to munch on them when my appetite is otherwise gone.
Best Moment This Week: Walker’s 34th birthday!! On his actual birthday, we celebrated with Ben & Karen by ordering some yummy food and giving him gifts (tickets to The Zombie’s concert in April!). Then we had a really nice co-birthday dinner date at Union on Saturday night, followed by a homemade spice cake I made. Thankfully I was feeling fine that day and was able to indulge! Walker is the best human in the whole world, so it was a blast celebrating him this week! :)
Looking Forward To/Excited About: I am sooooooo excited for our ultrasound next week! We have it scheduled for Friday, January 13, and I can’t wait to see our little peanut! I am also looking forward to celebrating my 30th birthday next week, but the real birthday gift will be the ultrasound two days later! :)

Notes: Blood work taken on Tuesday, January 10, that showed progesterone was 24.1! The nurse practitioner said that number was great and that we didn’t have anything to worry about! Yay!

Week 8: January 11 – 16

Baby is now the size of: a raspberry!

I’m Feeling: OVER THE MOON! Seeing our baby on the ultrasound was the most magical experience. I was immediately relieved when the doctor found our little peanut right away and showed us the flickering heartbeat! It was so emotional and special… plus the technology was fascinating! I couldn’t stop smiling and looking at the photos all day! :)
Physical Symptoms: morning sickness and food aversions have hit me full force this week. Oooof. I have been living on Cliff Bars, carbs, yogurt, and cheese. Even those things I have trouble keeping down, but at least I can eat them! Fatigue has also increased this week, so my feet have been dragging. I have been super thirsty, and am always either hot or cold! Finally, I am starting to get that pregnant mama super sense of smell, which I am sure won’t help my nausea in the future!
Movement: nothing yet, but the baby was definitely moving around a ton on the ultrasound, flapping it’s little paddle hands and feet! It was so cool to watch! It will be several weeks before I am able to feel it, though.
Sleep: I will take all the sleep I can get! I have been super tired, napping whenever I can and sleeping soundly.
Food Cravings: nothing! Unless it is a bagel with cream cheese or a cracker, I’m not interested haha! My appetite is constantly minimal, but then one minute later I will be ravenous (even though nothing sounds good to eat)!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? brushing my teeth is getting easier. Nothing specific sets off my nausea, but most food sounds terrible! Plus my sense of smell is starting to increase, so I am sure there are more bouts of nausea to come.
Miss Anything? normal food! I can’t wait until the morning sickness subsides so that I can go back to enjoying eating normal meals complete with all food groups! It is frustrating suddenly being such a picky eater.

Can’t Live Without: technology! Being able to finally see our baby and heartbeat was indescribable! :)
Best Moment This Week: OUR FIRST ULTRASOUND! Walker and I squeezed each other’s hands so tightly at the first sight of our babe, and I definitely let a few tears fall! It was a relief to see and hear that all was going well! Also, my 30th birthday was super fun! We ordered food (mac and cheese was all I could handle!) with Ben & Karen, and I received some very sweet gifts! Walker even made me a delicious peanut butter pretzel ice cream pie! Mmmmmm!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: now that we know baby is strong and growing on track, I am really looking forward to being able to tell people we are expecting! Also, I really can’t wait for morning sickness to wane.

Notes: the ultrasound on January 13 showed I was actually measuring 8 weeks 5 days instead of 8 weeks 2 days (or 8 weeks 3 days according to their calendar based on my last menstrual period rather than conception date). However, since it was so close to what she expected, she said the due date will stay the same: August 22nd! I was tracking a day behind so I updated all of my trackers to reflect the doctor’s due date. Baby’s heartbeat was a strong 161bpm!

Week 9: January 17 – 23

Baby is now the size of: a grape!

I’m Feeling: this week has sort of kicked my butt! I was sick most of the week with an awful head cold and couldn’t seem to get rid of it. Finally I got a good night’s sleep over the weekend that did the trick, but it made for a long, tired week. However, we are getting ready to start telling people we are expecting, so the planning has been super fun!
Physical Symptoms: not sure if it was pregnancy or just a bad head cold, but I had a horrible runny nose and post-nasal drip! The fatigue was also at its worst yet, but that could also be because I was sick. Add some restless legs and headaches into the mix and that’s week 9! However, I’m starting to really get thick around the belly (but have not gained any weight) so hopefully that means I’ll start really showing soon!
Movement: nothing yet!
Sleep: being sick made sleeping a bit difficult, but seemed to get back to regular sleeping habits by the end of the week.
Food Cravings: I don’t have many specific cravings, although I think my body is starting to miss fresh foods (since I have only been able to manage bland carbs for the most part). Tomatoes have been particularly delicious this week!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? post-nasal drip has certainly NOT helped my nausea this week. I am still having trouble with a really limited appetite and keeping anything down in the early morning or all evening.
Miss Anything? once again, I miss eating normally! I really can’t wait until my appetite is back and I am not spending half the day hunched over the porcelain throne. Also, having a head cold made me miss being able to take medicine.

Can’t Live Without: toss up between bagels & cream cheese and lemon ginger tea. I have survived on both this week!
Best Moment This Week: participating in the Women’s March on Washington this weekend! Karen and I marched in solidarity with 750,000 people in the streets of Downtown LA in the honor of women’s equality, civil liberties, and human rights. We marched for the protection of rights, safety, health, and families for all. It made me proud to be a part of the largest single day protest in US history, with about 3-4 million people marching throughout the US. It was a peaceful but moving experience that was so inspiring… and it felt particularly poignant knowing I had a member of the future generation growing inside of me. I marched for my baby.
Looking Forward To/Excited About: I can’t wait for my appointment with the doctor next week! It should be a short one, but nice to meet with her directly for the first time in the pregnancy. I am also so so so excited to tell my Nana we are having a baby (her gift should be arriving this week!). Finally, I am beyond excited for our next ultrasound in a few weeks!

Notes: nothing noteworthy this week!

Week 10: January 24 – 30

Baby is now the size of: a strawberry!

I’m Feeling: SO HAPPY! I was surprised by a quick, unexpected mini ultrasound at my 10 week appointment with my doctor! I thought it was just an appointment for answering questions, so when she rolled in the portable ultrasound machine, I was thrilled! I only got a quick glance, but saw the heartbeat and watched baby wiggle around like crazy! I couldn’t stop smiling after that! How lucky to get a surprise glimpse. We also started telling some family and close friends this week, so that was incredible!
Physical Symptoms: still having most of the same symptoms: early morning and all evening sickness, fatigue, and chills. But I am definitely growing around the belly, even though I have actually lost weight. My belly feels firmer as well!
Movement: not feeling anything yet but baby was dancing around a ton on the ultrasound… our peanut even tried to hide from the doctor! It has been fun asking other moms when they first felt their babies move and what it felt like!
Sleep: sleep has been great! I crash hard every night!
Food Cravings: food cravings are about the same… not so much cravings as total lack of appetite. Thank goodness for bagels and cream cheese!
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? brushing my teeth is still really killing me. Most mornings and some evenings this week, the spitting-out-the-toothpaste part of the process has sent me running for the toilet. Yuck!
Miss Anything? nothing I can think of this week! I have been so content… and everything has been made even better by sharing our news with some family and friends!

Can’t Live Without: bagels and cream cheese! Otherwise I would probably have already starved to death.
Best Moment This Week: toss up between three things! The surprise ultrasound made my heart burst with happiness! Then telling close California friends at our BBQ on Saturday was so wonderful! But perhaps the best part of the week was video chatting my Nana to tell her our big news! We sent a onesie to my parents that said “I <3 My Great Nana”. We watched her open the gift, and her reaction was amazing (we got it on video)! She absolutely lit up and was so excited for us! It was such a special moment, and we spent the next half hour or so sharing stories about our pregnancy and all of hers.
Looking Forward To/Excited About: can’t wait for our 12 week ultrasound! Every time we get to see our little one is a ray of sunshine in our lives. We are also excited to keep telling friends and family over the next week before we publicly announce that we are expecting!

Notes: the ultrasound on January 25 showed I was actually measuring 11 weeks instead of 10 weeks 1 day! However, the doctor said she will wait until our full 12 week ultrasound to move the due date up if we are still measuring ahead.

Week 11: January 31 – February 6

Baby is now the size of: a lime!

I’m Feeling: so happy to continue to share our news with family and close friends! The more people we tell, the more real it all seems! Plus, my belly is starting to pop out a bit, so that also adds to the fun. Every day that I look a a little bigger, it feels like a step toward the second trimester (and saying goodbye to morning sickness)!
Physical Symptoms: I feel like my belly really had it’s first growth spurt this week. By the end of the week, I felt like I had the start of a real baby bump! It is still so subtle, but when I look at images of my belly compared to the last couple of weeks, it is starting to have the signature bump look! Yay! Otherwise, symptoms have been the same. No signs of the morning sickness letting up quite yet, unfortunately!
Movement: nada.
Sleep: we have had a guest in the house all week, so our sleep routines are a little off. But sleeping well for the most part!
Food Cravings: still no major cravings, though I was able to slightly branch out on which limited foods sounded appealing this week. Perhaps it is a sign that the morning sickness is waning? Please?
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? just brushing my teeth… especially in the morning this week. Brutal!
Miss Anything? sleeping on my stomach and not feeling guilty! I know I am supposed to be training myself to always sleep on my side, but I can’t help it! Even when I fall asleep on my side, I consistently wake up on my belly. I know it will become impossible to tummy sleep at some point, but I wish unconscious Erika had a little more willpower so the transition wouldn’t be so difficult down the line! Maybe it is already time to start researching pregnancy pillows…

Can’t Live Without: Walker. I just love that man with my whole heart!
Best Moment This Week: this is sort of a lame one, but we paid of two thirds of our debt this week (yay!), made a financial plan to pay off the last little bit within the year (double yay!), and reinvested some of our old 401k money that was just sitting dormant. Bored yet haha? Well it wasn’t particularly glamorous, but it felt amazing to know that we were going to start off our new life as a family of three with a financial clean slate.
Looking Forward To/Excited About: OUR 12 WEEK SCAN NEXT WEEK! I can’t wait to see our babe. Also, I am so excited to start really showing so I can start flaunting my bump! I have been wearing loose clothes to hide my little round belly, but I am so pumped to have my bump out and proud!

Notes: nothing noteworthy this week!

Week 12: February 7 – 13

Baby is now the size of: a plum!

I’m Feeling: SO WONDERFUL! We got to see our little one again this week for our 12 week ultrasound! The baby looked SO much bigger and more human-shaped than just two weeks ago. It is so amazing how quickly he or she is developing! Walker and I were very emotional at this scan, since it all seemed so much more real! Grow, baby, grow!
Physical Symptoms: my belly is really starting to grow! The little bump is visible and is getting harder to hide under my clothes (which I only have to do for one more week!). Eeeeeee! My morning sickness has seemingly let up a little, but keeps rearing its ugly head every other day or so. Hopefully that means it is almost over! I am really looking forward to feeling a little better soon. I felt a few aches/cramps this week as well as my uterus is growing and making room for baby!
Movement: the baby was flopping around so much during our ultrasound that the nurse said it was going to take her a while to get all of her measurements! Our little one kept straightening his/her legs, which would send the rest of his/her body flying upwards! We could see the babe flapping its arms too, which we assumed was a wave for us. The only time the baby stayed still the entire time was when Walker tried to take a video. Camera shy?
Sleep: sleeping like a log! Stomach sleeping is becoming more difficult, so I have been mostly sleeping on my side.
Food Cravings: nothing new here… mostly just still having no appetite at all.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? nothing other than brushing my teeth still really directly triggers nausea. In addition, my morning sickness has actually been a little better this week… perhaps the tides are turning?! Please?
Miss Anything? nothing this week… getting to see my little one is the perfect reminder that anything I might miss a little bit is all so beyond worth the sacrifice!

Can’t Live Without: once again, technology! I wish I could have my own ultrasound machine at home so I could see our little peanut whenever I want! I live for these little glimpses, since it is still too early to feel the baby.
Best Moment This Week: easy… seeing our baby again! Squeezing Walker’s hand while we watched our little one moving around in there was so magical. There are no words to describe the happiness (and relief) I felt seeing that our babe developing as expected and to see/hear that strong heartbeat!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: at our appointment, one of the nurses helped us schedule all future regular appointments for the entire pregnancy! It was so much fun to see a list of everything we have in store. Looking forward to the entire timeline! We are also planning on announcing our pregnancy publicly next week, so I am soooo excited for that!

Notes: the ultrasound on February 9 showed I was measuring 12 weeks 4 days instead of 12 weeks 2 days. However, since it was so close to what was expected, the due date will stay the same: August 22nd! Baby’s heartbeat was 149bpm!

Week 13: February 14 – 20

Baby is now the size of: a peach!

I’m Feeling: so surrounded by love! When we announced publicly on February 14 that our little Valentine was due in August, so many people went out of their way to send us well-wishes and love! It was exciting and humbling to see how many people already adore this little babe! He or she is going to be so incredibly lucky to have a life full of such love.
Physical Symptoms: remember last week when I thought my symptoms might be easing up? I was very, very wrong. I was so sick this week, having several days where I had trouble keeping anything down at all! Thankfully, since we announced our news, I had lots of new moms send me helpful coping tips! Hopefully something will work to ease the morning sickness! Otherwise, I am still a pound down but my belly grew another half inch!
Movement: nothing yet! It is still too early to feel anything, but hopefully I will in the next few weeks!
Sleep: sleep is starting to get a little restless as I am adjusting to finding ways to get comfortable sleeping on my side. Also, I’ve been getting sick right before bed, which ends up making me feel wide awake just as I am planning to tuck in.
Food Cravings: I was feeling terrible but I my craving for lemon, citrus, and fruit flavors really seemed to be more pronounced this week. I have been able to settle my stomach at night with a frozen lemonade treat. Delicious.
Anything Making You Queasy or Sick? all food! I am SO looking forward for the morning sickness to end.
Miss Anything? eating dinner (or any meal for that matter!) with my hubby! The nausea hit me so hard (at night especially) this week that I ended up just eating bland cereal or granola bars while Walker ate real food. I can’t wait to have our evenings back to normal, instead of me hanging my head over the toilet for half the night.

Can’t Live Without: frozen lemonade! After a tip from a friend saying frozen things soothed her nausea, I ran out and grabbed some frozen lemonade cups to see if it worked. It wasn’t a cure-all but it certainly helped temporarily relieve the worst of it! Plus they are delicious, so that helps too!
Best Moment This Week: announcing our pregnancy publicly on social media. Even though we had already told most close friends and family, it was a blast to announce to our entire circle of friends that we have a little one on the way. People were so sweet with their outpouring of love. Plus, we did it on Valentine’s Day, so it gave me an excuse to buy and wear a shirt with a big red heart on the belly for my babe!
Looking Forward To/Excited About: really looking forward to moving into the second trimester and hopefully feeling better soon! I am also so beyond thrilled to learn the baby’s gender, even though we have to wait another 7 WEEKS for our 20 week scan. But not knowing yet is also a fun part of this adventure, so I don’t want to wish it away in the slightest!

Notes: nothing noteworthy this week!

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Well, today is my 29th birthday and my landlord decided that a nice early birthday gift yesterday would be to give us 60 days to leave our Pasadena Cottage.  :(

I guess they are planning to sell the place, and the cash offer they are expecting (the buyer reached out to them but has not put the offer in yet) would be a 30-day escrow. By law, they have to give us 60 days notice to terminate the lease, so they are basically getting us out of the way now so we won’t cause any hiccups in their selling process. Woop-de-doo. Needless to say, Walker and I had a sad/mad day yesterday but ultimately decided that, even though we love this place, it is just four walls and we will be just fine anywhere as long as we are together. Everything will work out. After all, this house certainly wasn’t perfect, so we will use it as a learning experience for picking out the next place. I am just nervous because it took us 3-4 months to find the cottage the first time around since little places with yards don’t pop up very often in our price range. We have to be out by March 3, so that does not leave us much time, but I have to keep reminding myself that everything will work out.

Anyway, it feels really strange to be moving on from our place so quickly. I feel like we finally just got all settled in over the last few months. Before we start packing, I will do my best to take and share some photos of the space, as very few people in our lives even got to see it!

So here we go… onto the next adventure! Despite it’s rocky start, I have a feeling 29 will be a great year.

Walker & Erika: The Beginning of Our Love Story!

Happy new year! I hope that everyone had a wonderful and love-filled holiday season. Walker and I spent Christmas with my family in New York (I will post a holiday update later in the week!). However, what I really wanted to write about today was inspired by January 1, 2016, which marked the five year anniversary of our first date!

It has been an absolutely INCREDIBLE five years, and people ask me all the time how Walker & I met, so I thought I would share the beginning our love story with you all.  I have had a draft of this blog post in the works for years, but never hit publish for whatever reason. However, today feels like the day, as I am feeling full of love, joy, gratefulness, and sentimentality off the back of celebrating a wonderful 5 year anniversary last week and Walker’s 33rd birthday yesterday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARLING!).

It’s a long, mushy post so readers beware! ;)

Like most little girls of my generation, I was raised on Disney fairy tales.  Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love at first sight, boy happens to be a prince, boy and girl live happily ever after in a swanky castle.  Now, I was also raised with more sense than that to think falling in love is anything like that… but I guess a part of me always hoped for a little magic. And I got it. :)

I assumed people were exaggerating a bit when they claim they fell in love at first sight.  But when Walker and I met, there was an undeniable surge of electricity that hit me like a ton of bricks. It was instant chemistry and attraction.  I knew from the moment I met him that he was going to be a big part of my life. I wanted to know who this man was and what made him tick. No exaggeration whatsoever. But let’s backtrack just a little…

I was working as an executive assistant at a big international television distribution company when I realized that I wanted to move into editing/post production.  With no jobs of the sort at my current company, I decided to accept a job working for a post production facility in November of 2010.  On October 8th, I went in to fill out paperwork for my new gig.

According to Walker, he met me before I met him… but maybe someday he will tell you his side of our story (hint, hint, hubs! Want to write your first post?)! Anyway, after I was finished with my paperwork, my soon-to-be boss took me into the room where I would be working to meet my future coworkers. Now, I don’t want to sound like I am going off on a tangent by describing the shape of the room… it really is relevant to the story, I promise.  The room was a long skinny space that was separated in the middle by a partial partition that really made it feel like two rooms.  The door into the room was on the right side so when we entered, I could only really see the one side of the room where I was standing.  I met everyone on that side of the room and we left.  Little did I know that the man I would end up marrying was sitting on the other side of that partition.  Even though I didn’t see him, he certainly saw me. And so it began…

Fast forward to the first day at my new job: November 8, 2010.  My supervisor took the two new trainees on a tour of the building.  As we walked through a back hallway on the second floor, I saw a tall handsome man in a green striped hoodie and a Nebraska hat walking toward us.  My supervisor introduced him to us as Walker and he shook my fellow newbie’s hand.  When he shook my hand, BOOM: that shock of electricity.  I still remember looking into his eyes at that moment and thinking, “What just happened?!?!”  The rest was a bit of a blur… I think the encounter shocked my brain for a minute and time seemed to slow down.  Walker said, “Nice to meet you,” and I think I said the same.  He tells me I said, “VERY nice to meet you,” with an emphasis on the VERY, but I think his brain was a little shocked too.  No one else was paying enough attention to clarify this for us so it will remain a mystery.

Over the next couple of months, Walker and I enjoyed getting to know each other at work. As with many love stories, this one can’t be truthfully told without airing a little dirty laundry, so bear with me. At the time, I was dating someone else who, despite being a good person, wasn’t right for me (nor was I right for him). It gives me a twinge of guilt to say this, but despite my current relationship status, I so looked forward the the five minutes I got to joke with Walker over the coffee station or the half hour he was working on the computer next to me so we could chat.

One rainy Saturday in December, I was working a shift alone since my usual Saturday coworker was on vacation. About an hour after arriving, I heard the door open (my brain: “Wait- who’s here? Erika, get your feet off the desk and pretend you aren’t wearing socks with loafers!”) and who walks in? You guessed it: Walker — with two large coffees in hand!

I was so surprised when I saw his face (and grateful I saw the coffee… HALLELUJAH!)! My brain was going a mile a minute: “How sweet of him! And WHY the heck did I have to wear socks with loafers and no makeup? He looks so handsome in his plain white t-shirt and jeans. So classic… ERIKA, stop staring! Don’t be weird.”

Knowing that I would be alone in the office, Walker had decided to bring me coffee. Thanks to a slow day at work, we spent the next three hours talking about anything and everything. Although we had gotten to know each other a bit at work over the past couple months, we had never gotten the opportunity to just sit and talk one-on-one before, and it was incredible how much we connected. I hated to admit it, but I connected more with this man I barely knew than I ever could with the guy I was dating for years. We could have easily talked for 3 more hours (or days) if some work hadn’t come in for the afternoon (stupid work… always getting in the way of fun). So before he left, he said he had to run to his car to get something.

While he was gone, my brain got to spinning again. What was I doing? I needed to get a hold of myself and finally take my happiness into my own hands. I didn’t want to wake up years from that day after sitting idly by and realize I was still stuck, unhappy, and unfulfilled. If my relationship hadn’t been working for a long time and wasn’t working now, it was never going to work. I was going to end things with my ex, after putting it off for months (and maybe years). I took a little breath of relief after this decision, but my nerves shot back up as the door opened again when Walker returned, with a wrapped gift in his hand.

What happened next blew me away. He handed me the gift, and inside was a pair of copper cups for drinking Moscow mules (which you need to try today if you haven’t had one… delicious!). I laughed because it had become a joke between us at work. When I had first mentioned them, he was the only one of my coworkers who knew what they were. We had agreed at the time that they were the best drink ever and that we needed to find a good place that made them around work. It became a little thing for us… the promise of a good cocktail to get the coworkers together, mainly as an excuse for the two of us to spend more time together. It never happened, however, so when I saw the cups, I was delighted! As soon as I opened them, Walker put his heart on the line, telling me how he felt about me. He told me that (in my paraphrased words) he had been smitten ever since the first day he saw me and that his feelings have only grown. He told me that he felt a true connection between us, and hoped I felt the same way. He also said that he understood and respected that I was in a relationship and that, in the meantime, he would be “a fan in the stands.” He told me that the gift was just a fun way of saying that he hoped we could someday enjoy a Moscow Mule together, as well as more of the lovely conversation we had that day. He wished me a Merry Christmas and a flashed me a gorgeous smile before leaving the room.

My heart felt like it was going to explode! I was so happy… I really had feelings for this guy, feelings I had been pushing aside out of loyalty to my current relationship. But I couldn’t lie… I enjoyed joking around with him at work. I was disappointed on days that he was working in another room. I had felt special when he asked me for baking advice for his Thanksgiving galette (which I later found out was just a ruse to talk to me…. he’s a great baker!). I had a blast hanging out with him at the company Christmas party (and *may* have put a little extra effort into looking cute in his honor!). I was blown away with his sweet gesture of visiting me at work on that very day. I was incredibly impressed with (and attracted to) how open and honest he was about his feelings. I had an overwhelmingly strong desire to get to know the core of who he was as a person. I was intrigued, and I wanted more.

I knew what I had to do next. If I wasn’t convinced that I was ending things with my ex before, this was the kick in the pants that I needed to finally follow through with my actions. Walker was courageous enough to be true to himself and his feelings… I could be too. Walker’s honesty and bravery (and hunkiness!) inspired me to finally take the leap. I went home on my lunch break that very day and ended things with my ex before the hour was over. It was hard to walk away after 5 years, but I followed my gut and trusted that I would end up back on my feet again.

The days that followed my break up were hard and I was kind of a mess. Thankfully, I was heading home for Christmas in a few days (yes, I am the jerk who ended a relationship a week before Christmas… but it had to be done) and could be with my family and best friend. The only thing that got me through the next couple of weeks was that little thing we all love so much: the telephone. About once a day during that Christmas break, a text message would pop up on my phone from Walker. My heart would leap, and I would try to keep the conversations going for as long as possible without seeming like a weirdo. Those texts were little bursts of sunshine in my day.

Then one day, he asked if he could give me a call. I was so excited (and nervous!), but I was at a family party all afternoon and wouldn’t be able to connect with him before he headed up to Omaha for the night (he was also home for Christmas) where he got no cell service. Since we weren’t going to be able to connect until the next day, he resorted to sending another text saying he wished he could ask over the phone, but since time was of the essence, text would have to do. He asked if I wanted to join him for New Year’s Eve (now two days away, thus the time crunch) at an elegant rat-pack-esque dinner and drinks soiree at a the Glendon Bar and Kitchen in Westwood.

While I would have given my right arm to say “YES, YES, YES!” to such an amazing date with him, I was worried it was really soon after all of the drama to say yes to such a high-pressure first date. I wanted to think over what I was going to do, so I texted him that it sounded incredible and that I would let him know the next day. After thinking it over, I realized it was the day and context of the date that was giving me pause, not the idea of going on a date with him in general. So I called him the next day when he was back in cell phone range to explain myself and my vague (and probably very confusing/disappointing) answer. I told him that I really liked him and wanted nothing more than to spend more time getting to know him. I said that the NYE date sounded lovely, and I would really like for us to go on that date at some point, but that it was a little too much for me to handle at the moment, so would he like to go to lunch with me on New Year’s Day instead? He completely understood and was relieved it wasn’t just a “no” as he had feared after my vague text. We made plans for him to pick me up on New Year’s Day, Walker saying he would find a great spot for us to eat.

After our phone conversation and our first date was scheduled, we began texting a lot more over the following couple of days. I spent most of my New Year’s Eve attached to my phone, wishing I had just said yes to the original date so I wouldn’t have to wait any longer! But the interaction and anticipation was fun, and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing about how it all went down, now knowing how it all played out (wedding bells and all that jazz!).

At noon on January 1, 2011, Walker knocked on my door to pick me up for our date. I had spent ages picking out the perfect outfit to look perfectly lunch-date-casual, and wished on my lucky stars that things would go well. As soon as he came in, Bo attacked him with love and belly-rub requests, and I knew it was going to be amazing. Bo-Approved. (P.S. If you want to read about the love story of the first man in my life, Mr. Bo, you can here! I wrote it on our five year anniversary as well!)

Walker opened the car door for me (something he learned from his grandfather and still does every time for me to this day), and had strategically set the song “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies to play as we drove off to the restaurant. Though it was the first time I had ever heard the song, over the years it has grown to be one of our favorites and was even the recessional song at our wedding.

That first date at Granville went so incredibly well that lunch turned into a walk around Downtown Burbank, which turned into a glass of wine and talking for hours at my place, which turned into several more dates, which turned into our first kiss on my birthday, which turned into hundreds more dates and kisses, which turned into a beautiful relationship, which turned into moving in together, which turned into getting engaged, which turned into committing the rest of our lives together as husband and wife over the next five beautiful years.

We are a wonderful little family now, all because of those honest, brave words and copper cups Walker gave me on that rainy Saturday morning (and he gave me another set of copper cups on our wedding day!). I love him for that… and for everything. I am so grateful every day for trusting that that insane lightning bolt I felt on the first day we met was truly something so special and for following my heart straight into his arms for today and always.

I love you, Walker. You & Me, Baby… <3