Sophie Elise Ly-Pang

August 5th, 2009

Our little bundle of joy!

On Saturday August 1, 2009 at 4:37 PM PST, Linda gave birth to our
beautiful baby girl, Sophie Elise Ly-Pang.  She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and
measured 20 inches in length.  To say that the past few days have been
hectic would be a gross understatement.  We’ve been on an emotional
rollercoaster, and it’s nice to finally have a few moments to sit back
and take it all in.  But first, we’d like to thank all of our friends
and family who have expressed their well
wishes to us through their cards, e-mails, text messages, tweets, and
phone calls.  We
really do appreciate it, even if we haven’t had a chance to respond to
all of you.  We’d especially like to thank all of you who found the
time to come visit us at the hospital and at our home to share in this
special moment with us.  We’ve really tried to keep all of you updated
these past few days as we welcomed little Sophie into this world, but
we’ve been rather busy and realize that there have been some lapses in
communication.  Hopefully this blog post will answer any questions you
may have about Sophie and everything that has transpired over this past
weekend.  And yes, there are pics, just keep reading.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Sometime
early Friday morning Linda’s water broke, without her knowing.
Contrary to what you see in the movies, when a woman’s water breaks it
usually doesn’t just gush out of her like Niagara Falls.  Instead, it
tends to seep out over the course of several hours.  This is what
happened to Linda.  It wasn’t until later that evening that we took
Linda to the hospital to get her checked out.  When we arrived, the
doctors performed a few tests and informed us that Linda’s water had
probably broken about 24 hours ago and that she would need to be
induced immediately in order to lower the risk of infection for
Sophie.  At this point Linda wasn’t even close to starting labor.  She
was not dilated and was not experiencing contractions.  However,
because her water had been broken for so long, the doctors had no
choice but to induce her with Petosin to “jump start” her labor.

I’ll skip the gory details of what happens over the next 16 hours and just summarize it as follows: childbirth is not a natural process and it is not beautiful.  Whoever claims so is a liar.
Instead, it is both the single most amazing and disgusting thing that I
have ever witnessed.  To my surprise, I actually watched the entire
thing.  I didn’t think I would, since I’m pretty squeemish, but I just
couldn’t stop staring.  I felt like a rubbernecker on the freeway.
Anyways, all I have to say is this: I owe Linda for life.
There is no making up for this.  No amount of jewelry or cars or
mansions or romantic getaways could make up for what I saw.  The
horror.  The horror!  She owns me now, she knows it, and I have to
admit that this arrangement seems pretty fair.  In fact, I think I got
the better end of the deal.

Mommy seeing baby for the first time

That didn’t stop me from buying her a “push present” though: 4 cds from
the Rockabye Baby collection.  For those of you who haven’t heard of
Rockabye Baby Music, they’re an awesome company that remakes classic
rock songs into baby tunes.  I purchased the Beatles, Nirvana, Green
Day, and Smashing Pumpkins.  We listened to them on the car ride home
with Sophie.  The first song she’s heard in her life was the remake of
“Yesterday” by the Beatles.  Something tells me we’ll eventually wind
up purchasing their entire catalog.  Check out their website and have a
listen.  Sure beats Barney, doesn’t it?

Sophie’s new tunes

Alright, so back to our story.

Now that
Sophie was born, the festivities could begin!  Or so we thought.
Sophie appeared to be a perfectly healthy baby.  10 fingers, 10 toes
(yes, that’s the first thing I checked, Dad).  Healthy heartbeat.
Normal temperature.  Except that she had this odd little habit of
turning blue every now and then.  It wouldn’t last long, but it was
strange and certainly noticeable enough that the nursing staff was
concerned.  Enough so that they decided that instead of letting Sophie
sleep with us that evening, they would rather she sleep in the nursery
where a nurse could monitor her 24/7 in case there were any problems.
This turned out to be a good idea.

Turns out the reason
Sophie was turning blue was because every now and then, she would just
stop breathing.  Not because she was choking or had something
obstructing her airway, but simply because for whatever reason she just
decided “hey, I’ve taken enough breaths for now.  I think I’ll take a
break”.  By the way, I resent that more than one person came up with
the suggestion that this was due to Sophie inheriting the “lazy” gene
from me.  Luckily, it was pretty easy to remedy this situation whenever
it occurred.  The nurse would simply tickle Sophie’s feet, which would
make her cry, and thus start her breathing back up again.  After one
night of sporadic breathing, the situation appeared to be getting
better, but the hospital didn’t feel safe discharging her with us on
Sunday since they hadn’t found the root cause of this.  The doctors
wanted to make sure that this was just due to Sophie needing a little
more time to adjust to the rules of living outside of the womb, and not
because she was fighting off an infection or had some sort of lung
problem.  So they decided to run some blood work, give Sophie an x-ray,
put her on penicillin, and move her to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit) for the next couple of nights while they waited for the test
results to come back.

We were concerned.  On the surface, Sophie
seemed perfectly healthy and happy, but that’s really little
consolation when your baby is sleeping next to a bunch of premature
term babies and other babies in need of urgent care.  Our poor little
girl was poked and prodded some more, with an IV in her hand and wires
all over her body to monitor her vitals.  We would spend pretty much
all of Sunday, Monday, and early Tuesday practically living in the
NICU.  We would spend an hour or two there, go back to our room for a
couple hours for sleep, then repeat throughout the day and night.  This
was tiring for me, and especially difficult for Linda who already had
to deal with recovering from the childbirth.  Waking up at 4 am to trek
down to the NICU for a breastfeeding session isn’t very fun.  I’m
guessing it’s even less fun when your whole body is aching and you’ve
got episiotomy stitches in your crotch.

Sophie all wired up.  Cyborg baby!

The bright spot of these
two days were the number of people who came to visit us.  That really
helped lighten the mood.  Everyone was so excited to see and meet
Sophie.  The nurses there were great too, constantly talking to us to
keep us company and taking care of Sophie when we were on our short
eating / sleeping breaks.  They made this whole process a great deal
easier for us.  They assured us that Sophie seemed to be in good health
and they were right.  Tuesday morning, we received the wonderful news
that Sophie’s tests had all come back and she was perfectly fine.  She
had been asymptomatic for a couple days by now and would be discharged
from the hospital that day.  We were thrilled.  And so we packed our
stuff and drove Sophie home for the first time.

Sophie’s first car ride

Oh, and speaking
of our hospital, I’d like to take the time to sincerely thank the staff
at Hoag hospital for making our stay an incredible one.  If you’re
planning on delivering a child in the Southern California area, I
wholeheartedly recommend doing it at Hoag.  No, actually, I demand
it.  There really isn’t any choice in the matter.  It is, bar none, the
single best hospital I’ve ever been to.  From the gourmet meals, to the
oceanfront views, to the incredibly cheerful and knowledgeable staff, I
can’t see any reason anyone would want to deliver anywhere else if they
had the choice.  Half the time I felt like I was on vacation in a 5
star hotel.  The nurses waited on us hand and foot.  At one point Linda
accidentally pulled the “help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” cord in
the bathroom and within seconds we had no fewer than 7
nurses bursting through our doors to make sure she was ok.  We plan on
sending boatloads of pastries and gifts to the Hoag staff because the
treatment they gave us was top notch and made our experience infinitely
better.  I felt like no matter what questions or problems we had, there
was always someone easily accessible who would help us out.  I can’t
stress how friendly everyone was and what a nice atmosphere the
hospital provided us.  It absolutely made a huge difference and we
appreciate it.

The gorgeous view from our enormous hospital window

Linda with a couple NICU nurses

So that’s it.  Baby Sophie is now home safe and
sound.  She’s cute as button.  She has her mommy’s eyes, hair, chin and
legs and daddy’s nose and mouth.  Or so everyone tells us.  Words can’t
describe how happy (and sleep deprived) I feel at the moment.  I’m not
a good enough writer to do it any justice.  Let’s just say this.  I am
completely in love with this little young lady and she’s done nothing
for me but eat, sleep, cry, poop, and puke on me.  She’s got a great
little personality that we’re just starting to discover.  She smells amazing.
Everything she does, regardless of how mundane, is truly fascinating to
me.  I love holding her.  I love calming her down.  Hell I even love
changing her diaper.  Anything I can do to make her more comfortable,
warm, and secure, is a treat for me.  All I want is the best for her
and despite the fact that she’s only existed for 3 and a half days now,
I can’t imagine life without her.  She’s so well-loved, I can tell
she’s going to be a happy baby growing up.  There’s been such an
outpouring of family and friends these past few days, we really do feel
blessed to be able to provide Sophie such a warm, caring environment to
grow up in.  But I digress, here’s what you guys came here for: more
pictures!

Sophie’s first time outside the hospital
The nursery

Home sweet home

Sophie with her grandpa

Sophie with her great grandma

Baby Bump Watch – Week 34

June 18th, 2009

Nope, you didn’t imagine it, we have indeed been MIA. For so many reasons, work, nursery, baby, friends (returning from college for summer vacation), we have been swamped! However, today, we are going to try to make up for all of this time we haven’t been around. Let’s start with what many of you have probably been waiting the past 4 weeks to see. ::Drum roll please:: The latest baby bump!

And as for our sweet little Baby Sophie? She’s just 4-8 weeks from entering the world. She’s due on July 28th, but as many of you probably know, there is a two week margin of error. As of last week, she already weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces. Her last ultrasound was done at 32 weeks and 6 days. She, however, was already measuring out to be 33 weeks and 6 days. The average fetus length at this time would be between 17.2 to 18.7 inches. We’re guessing Sophie is more in the 18 inch range than 17. Her senses are improving. She can even see light passing through my belly. According to the ultrasound, she’s flipped upside down, which definitely explains the rib kicking I have been feeling from her for the past several weeks. She is now the size of a honeydew melon.

We spent this past Saturday at a photo shoot in the Back Bay of Newport Beach with my friend, and AWESOME lifestyle and wedding photographer, Lauren Hillary. She patiently took hundreds of shots of Kevin with me and Sophie in my belly. She was a real trooper, dealing with the wind and my very uncooperative hair. Kevin was a savior, helping me climb up rocks, down rocks and carrying me over a very spiky patch of grass. We had a blast and ended the evening with a delicious Italian dinner. Here is a preview of just some of the shots Lauren captured that day. I don’t want to post too many since we’ll be unveiling them at the baby shower next weekend.

Luckily, at our last ultrasound, we were allowed to take video footage. With our trusty little Flip HD in hand, we managed to bring home some footage for your viewing enjoyment. We’ve spliced the footage to make it more convenient to view. Also, after our last ultrasound, we’re happy to report that we are quite positive Sophie is, indeed, a Sophie! The ultrasound was rather graphic to say the least, and Kevin doesn’t think grown up Sophie will be too happy about us having it all on tape.

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Last, and, most definitely, not least important, I am officially off of the doxylamine! The miracle drug that has kept me sane and functioning for the past two and a half trimesters is finally a thing of the past (until the next pregnancy). I have tried on several occasions to kick it to the curb. It was all in vain. One evening, several weeks ago, I was exhausted and passed out before I could take my pill. I awoke the next morning feeling fine. I had been lulled into a false sense of security before. The doxylamine usually managed to stay in my system for up to 48 hours before I became ill again. I was doubtful that the morning sickness had finally gone away, but I was willing to give it a try. One more night passed, then another, and another, and another. Two and a half weeks later, I stand before you, doxylamine and morning sickness free!

We’re sorry we’ve kept everyone waiting so long for an update. From now on, we promise to at least update weekly, and probably even more often as we get closer and closer to that due date.

Baby Bump Watch – Week 30

May 20th, 2009

Week 30 is here! My google calendar is set to remind me each time we hit a 5 week increment mark. I am very excited about this one because I think of pregnancy in terms of quarters more so than trimesters. If this particular entry meanders, or babbles on a bit, well, I’m exhausted. From the pregnancy? No, not exactly. I have just been crazy busy lately. A good friend, and client is getting married Sunday, and I have been working away on her wedding. I am supposed to wake up tomorrow morning and get a gestational diabetes blood test done, however, that has been postponed. I have to fast 10 hours prior to the test and tonight, I arrived home at the 10 hour mark and still hadn’t had dinner. It just wasn’t going to happen.

So how big am I this week? I don’t think I’m much bigger than last week.

Of course, hardly any of the clothing I own fits any longer. Luckily, Kevin and I stumbled upon a sale at Baby Style at Fashion Island. Unfortunately, they’re closing :-( But not before I got my hands on 3 skirts, 2 pairs of pants and a soft comfy t shirt! I didn’t know they could make maternity clothing that is so chic and comfortable. I’ve been suffering in too tight maternity jeans, empire waist jersey dresses and sweat pants! I am still wearing some of my non maternity shirts though. Kevin insists they no longer fit, but I just can’t let go quite just yet!

This week, Sophie is about 3 pounds. However, we do not a have a photo of a fruit or vegetable this week, and Kevin insists that the photo from Parenting.com cannot be posted because it apparently comes straight out of Aliens, the film.

In other news, we spent some time this weekend putting together Sophie’s crib! By we, I mean Kevin built it, and I watched a really, really bad film (Prince & Me III). I can’t rent a good film when Kevin is busy because then he doesn’t get to watch it. I decided that a cheesy film I could mock was the perfect solution.

I’m signing off for this week, but look for Fiesta Hermosa photos next week! Actually, look for quite a few photos. We’ll be posting photos from this weekend’s wedding, Fiesta Hermosa and hopefully a visit to my friend Ginny and her baby Jack and her husband Kevin. They’ll all be moving back home to Kentucky and I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t see them before they left.

Baby Bump Watch – Week 29

May 13th, 2009

Week 29, I cannot believe that is FINALLY here. Every week feels like such an achievement. I feel great these days. Every Tuesday, I experience a flashback to weeks 6-7-8, and I cringe. During those weeks, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through. I always knew that pregnancy induced fatigue wasn’t going to faze me, and it hasn’t. I always knew I could deal with any back pain thrown my way. What I did know that I couldn’t handle, and I indeed can’t, is nausea. At week 5, I felt ok, heartburn (whatever), fatigue (ok), constant peeing (a slight nuisance), but by week 6, my world had turned upside down. It was quite clear that we weren’t going to be able to hide the pregnancy very long. I was, literally, bed ridden. Before my OB prescribed doxylamine for the morning sickness, I once threw up from seeing a dizzyingly patterned green bed spread on HGTV. I wasn’t even watching television with the sound above a whisper. I am amazed, and utterly relieved to be in the state I am in today. So what state am I in? A rather big one…

As for Sophie, her energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin, and I can really feel it. She has been kicking more than ever! I can finally see her little foot making a bump on my tummy when she kicks extra hard. She’s settling into fairly clear sleep and waking cycles, though, they don’t necessarily coincide with my own. All of her five senses are finally functional and her brain and nervous system are going through major developments. I’m considering myself fairly lucky right now as she hasn’t been waking me up in the middle of the night quite just yet. I’m still getting a full night’s rest. She is now the size of squash, measuring 15.2 to 16.7 inches long, and weighing in at a healthy 2.5 to 3.8 pounds.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if week 28’s recap is missing, you are correct. Last week was hectic, exhausting and rewarding. I’ve spent the past 14 days finishing up the planning of a late May wedding, meeting with the catering department, doing a linen meeting, met up with an old friend and now new client, had an OB appointment (Sophie is doing great), went to Los Angeles (both to source things for a couple of weddings I’m doing and to deck out Sophie’s nursery), went to a seamstress fitting with a bride, did a floral planning meeting, went to an agonizingly boring and redundant baby care basics class, spent 4.5 hours haggling for Kevin’s new car, went shopping for Mother’s day and attended two Mother’s day celebrations! Phew, I get exhausted all over again just typing about it. Sorry folks, we really tried to sit down and write our weekly post, but it just never happened.

Some exciting things did happen during the past two weeks. Meeting up with an old friend and, now, a new client, I was able to book an amazing wedding. We really clicked at our meeting and I just knew that her wedding, she and her fiancé would be a dream to work with. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to make her vision come to life. It is such a rewarding feeling when you make someone happy simply by understanding what it is they want and are picturing in their mind. It is also an absolute plus that she her wedding will be taking place at one of Southern California’s most gorgeous venues and one of my faves, Pelican Hill.

As for Sophie’s OB appointment, it was mostly ups. Her heart was beating stronger than ever, and I’m measuring up and weighing in well. However, despite all other indicators being negative, my OB is sending me for the gestational diabetes test. It is a pain in the butt blood test that I have to fast for 10 hours for, then I have to drink an apparently disgusting orange liquid, then have my blood drawn. Whoopee. Thanks Aunt #2. She has type II diabetes, thus necessitating that I take the test.

Grandpa Ly has made amazing progress with Sophie’s nursery. The walls are painted, the flooring is in, the closet hardware is assembled and there’s even a bed. Grandma Ngo and I decided that it was time for us to go shopping for fabric to start customizing her room. I had a business trip I needed to make to LA so we killed two birds with one stone. We found some awesome deals! Her floor length drapes will be made of two layers and the total cost in fabric was only $20.00 at $1.00/yard. We also got an excellent deal on fabric to slip cover the glider. It is actually identical to the fabric the manufacturers used, except it is cream instead of blue. The upholstery fabric shop wanted $20.00/yard. We needed 7 yards! I was not about to spend more than 50% of the cost of the glider on fabric to slip cover it. Luckily, it makes Grandma Ngo very uncomfortable when I haggle and she makes a face. The face was absolute perfection for my intended haggling technique. I played nice with the sales person, and got them down to $10/yard. Then I would turn to Grandma Ngo and speak to her in Vietnamese. I would look back at the salesman with a regretful face and say, I’m sorry, but she’s absolutely not willing to pay a penny more than $50.00 for all of the fabric we need. I looked back at her (she’s still making that face). The salesman looks at her, and he’s like, ohhhhhh alright, fine, fine, $50.00, but only for you. Success, we were happy as clams after that. We will definitely post photos as soon as Grandma Ngo is done slip covering.

As for Kevin’s car, long story short, car sales people suck ass. Four and a half hours! I am pregnant, hungry and cranky. The last thing I want to do is wait 4.5 hours for a car! They tried to pull every scam in the book, but we walked out of there with a brand new white Camry LE at the price we were promised with an APR of 1.9%. I’m sure Kevin will be giving his new car “Cammy” a photo shoot very soon.

Until next week, or perhaps sooner, Kevin, Baby Sophie and I are signing off.

Baby Bump Watch – Week 27

April 29th, 2009

The weeks are passing faster and faster as we near the end. We officially enter the 3rd trimester this week. With my careful balance of food choice, avoidance of smells and daily consumption of doxylamine, I’ve managed to stave off most morning sickness lately. I’ve experienced a bit of heartburn, but it has mostly been my own overeating. Unfortunately, I’ve been warned by many that I have apparently just left my most comfortable trimester. This is rather alarming seeing as how I continued to have morning sickness, got inexplicably very ill and now have to pee more than ever! I’d hate to think of what the 3rd trimester may have prepared for me. Luckily, the heat hasn’t begun bothering me yet. I may be the only pregnant woman in the world who continues to enjoy the Southern California heat. I’ve heard that many have problems getting any sleep (due to general discomfort). I get about 8-10 hours a night (I used to only sleep 5-8/night). However, I do get the urge to nap each day now at around 5:00 PM. My efforts to nap have been futile. I don’t think I’ve been able to nap since infancy. Napping, thus far, has constituted me, in bed, staring at the ceiling, growing more and more bored to death. I’ve since given up on napping.

I’m beginning to feel much bigger. I didn’t think I was much bigger, until I spent half of a bridal shower being told by the bride’s aunt that I’m apparently rather big for 26-27 weeks. Usually, I brush off unsolicited advice and dialog, but it is a bit more difficult to ignore what a registered labor and delivery nurse at Cedars-Sinai has to say. At first she was concerned that I may have developed gestational diabetes (it has yet to rear its ugly head at any of my check-ups). She was much less concerned after I informed her that both Kevin and I were born at 9.5 lbs each! Hopefully, Baby Sophie is just a chubster like the both of us, because I really don’t want to do the GD test. So just how big am I?

Checking into Parenting.com, we find that Sophie is now 14 inches from head to toe and tips the scales at more than 2 pounds. She’s finally bulking up with some fat and her lungs are continuing to develop. Her immune system is gearing up for life outside the womb. She has officially discovered thumb sucking, which will help to strengthen her cheek and jaw. We’re going to be checking into BabyCenter.com for the illustration this week. Kevin insists that Parenting.com’s picture this week is both amorphous and scary.

We’ve been keeping rather busy these days. I’m still working on building up Grand Soirees and Whimsical Designs, as well as finishing up the planning for a wedding taking place in one month. Kevin and Grandpa Ly have been putting their time towards the nursery and baby proofing. Grandpa Ly found a new baby gate listed on Craigslist for $20.00 less than retail. Kevin and I dashed to Newport Beach to pick it up on Sunday. After Grandpa Ly did some chinchilla proofing on it, it now functions as both a Chino and Sophie gate.

Please excuse the mess beyond the gate, the former contents of Sophie’s nursery has been moved into the living room

The nursery is coming along nicely. After tearing up the carpeting, we discovered a little snafu. The foundation has cracked a bit since it was laid 7 years ago.

Luckily, Grandpa Ly has since filled in the cracks to protect Sophie from any gases that might seep up from the ground. Grandpa Ly then finished painting it pink (cursing it the entire time, of course). He considers any shade of pink, pepto-bismol pink. He would have preferred Salmon Toast. I chose to go with Poetic Princess. This is how it looks so far:

I was bummed because no one would let me paint :-( And I was rather looking forward to painting. Instead, I had to find a different outlet for my crafting urges. I decided to work a little magic on the packaging for the bridal shower I was attending. The bride is actually both a friend and a client. I ended up packaging her hostess gifts for each of her bridesmaids.

Then I decided to wrap her gift (a cake stand, and a box of baking recipes) into a faux-wedding cake. I then topped it with a peony cake topper (that doubles as a floral headband after you take it off).

As for Kevin, he’s busily researching and haggling for a new vehicle. Kevin has been driving the same Honda Civic since he was 16 years old and newly licensed. As many 16 year old boys would do when asked what kind of car he wanted, Kevin wanted a cool one. Thus, he chose a two door (sporty, but inconvenient), black (impossible to see at night), Honda Civic. With age, and a baby on the way, Kevin is thinking much safer these days. After test driving a few cars, and doing some research, Kevin is leaning towards the 2010 Toyota Camry in white.

      
 

Baby Bump Watch – Week 26

April 22nd, 2009

Most of you are probably wondering what I think of this heat? I L-O-V-E, love it! I’ve always been the one who finds weather in the 70s cold, so this 90-100 degree weather has been welcomed with open arms. I must admit, the refuge available in our central air is one of the reasons that makes the heat so pleasant. I can get in my car, drive around and run errands in the hot weather. When I get home, it’s a nice cool temperature, perfect for a nap (if I took them).

Each week is passing more quickly than the last. It seriously feels like just yesterday that I wrote our last blog. We really need to get working on Sophie’s nursery. Luckily, a paint color has officially been chosen!

Poetic Princess

The color will appear differently on different screens, but to describe it, it’s a nice shade of light pink. Not very pastel-ey because it doesn’t really have the chalky look most people associate with Easter pastels. And the color isn’t such a bright or saturated pink that it comes off pepto bismol-ey.

We’ll also soon have the glider and ottoman. It was delivered to Babies R Us on Monday. We’ll be bringing it home by the end of the week. I’m planning on hitting up the Fabric District in Los Angeles to procure fabric for a slip cover. I’m thinking a nice cream color, accented with pink pillows.

Also in baby merchandise news, I thought I had an AWESOME deal on the Graco Quattro Tour Sport when I got it for $220! Well, lo and behold, this week, they mark it down even further. I had an errand that would be right near the Babies R Us, so brought along the receipt and asked for a price adjustment. Everything is just hunky dory.

As I sit here, rambling away, Sophie just gave me a few good swift kicks to remind me of the reason I’m actually writing this blog. This week’s baby bump feels quite a bit bigger to me this week. Check it out:

Actually, I think, to really see how much bigger my belly has become, we need to do a side-by-side comparison. The photo on the left is my baby bump at week 18, and the photo on the right is my baby bump at week 26.

As for Sophie, here’s a little photo provided by Babyzone.com. Kevin insisted that I had to switch out the photo from Parenting.com, as this week’s photo was beyond creepy.

Sophie, interestingly enough, currently has blue eyes. Despite of what her ethnicity is, all babies have blue eyes at 26 weeks. She’s now more than a foot long and weighs a good two pounds. I’m sure she’ll be coming out much more pleasantly plump.

Check out our blog later this week for a recap on my makeover. Drastic, by no means, but definitely necessary. I’ve had a nasty several months since getting pregnant. Between morning sickness and just plain illness, I haven’t been looking real hot. However, the last month has been a real hit to the morale. First, a nurse at urgent care asked me if I was Kevin’s mother! A few weeks later, my grandmother asked me why my armed was bruised. It wasn't bruised! It was just begging for a good waxing. Le sigh, it was obviously time to put myself back together. I’ve gotten a wax, a haircut, and replenished my supply of makeup and skincare products. I’m still waiting on the arrival of a few new makeup brushes, still need to have my face threaded and definitely need to procure some more maternity clothing (I currently own less than a dozen maternity items).

   

Baby Bump Watch – Week 25

April 15th, 2009

It has been a much calmer week. However, we did have an exciting day at Babies R Us last week. I got a heads up about a big one day sale at Babies R Us via theBump.com’s Orange County message board. When I spied that several items we had earmarked were going to be marked down I immediately text messaged Kevin to schedule a scouting trip. Thursday night we made our way out to Babies R Us and decided that there were 3 items we definitely wanted to get. There was a glider and ottoman set that was originally $550 marked down to $200. We had originally decided that the price made this particular glider out of the question. After all, what are we supposed to do with it after Sophie and her younger sibling grow up? But I was still quite smitten with the look of a large, squishy, non wood glider. The only problem with this glider is that it is navy blue. I wanted one in white or ivory to contrast with the pink we intend on painting the nursery. After we tried it out, and spoke to Grandma Ngo about slip covering it, we decided the glider was a go.

Rock-A-Bye Glider & Ottoman

The other large ticket item we were going to look into is the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System. It is a travel stroller with a matching infant car seat. I consider it to be the Honda or Toyota of strollers. It has the second highest rating on Consumer Reports (second to a stroller that costs 3X as much and doesn’t come with a car seat) and is very moderately priced. We had originally chosen the Deco pattern, but the Diaz pattern was going on sale at $50 off the original price. Decent sales on Graco strollers rarely ever happen. We couldn’t even find this kind of price on Amazon. Our only concern was whether or not the car seat was going to be unisex enough. We had intended on purchasing all big ticket items as unisex items just in case the next baby is a boy. To our delight, upon examining the Diaz pattern, we decided that despite its blue coloring, the pattern was actually more feminine than the polka dots we had originally chosen. We also preferred the silver detailing on the stroller to the mocha colored detailing on the Deco pattern. Grandma & Grandpa Pang had already earmarked the stroller as their gift for the baby shower, but we picked it up for them.

Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System

And, for the tech geeks following this blog, we purchased the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer. It is the latest and greatest in thermometer technology, if there is such a thing. I know rectal thermometers are recommended for infants, and we will keep one on hand for confirmation, but I find the temporal artery thermometer much less demoralizing. A simple scan across the forehead and we get a temperature. Research has shown that the Exergen thermometer is as accurate as the rectal thermometer when used properly. I know the key words here are, “used properly”. It was a whopping 50% off and I have a rebate form for an additional $5 back.

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

And for all of you stacking junkies out there (those who stack the savings, coupons, mark downs), we also opened up a Babies R Us Rewards R Us card. We’ll be collecting $5 for every $150 spent at Babies R Us.

As for the baby bump, I think I may be rounder this week, but it’s all beginning to blend together. Kevin and I are anxious to do a slideshow of every bump photo after Sophie comes. I think the increase in size will be much more noticeable then. For the time being, this will have to suffice:

As for Sophie, she’s now the size of an eggplant!

I’m sure you’re all as relieved as I am that this week’s photograph is a produce product from TheBump. Unfortunately, we’re back to Parenting.com blobs next week. This week, it may be possible to hear the baby’s heartbeat by putting an ear to my belly. Kevin tried this last week with no success. In fact, Sophie kicked him in the ear. Inside the womb, the formation of tiny capillaries is giving Sophie a healthy pink glow. She’s also soaking up antibodies, getting her immune system ready for life outside the womb. Her eyes are forming and she’ll soon perfect the blink-perfect for batting her freshly grown lashes. We’ll try to post again sometime this week. In the mean time, wish Grandpa Ly and Grandma Ngo a Happy 25th Anniversary! We’ll be taking them to dinner tomorrow night to celebrate.

Baby Bump Watch – Week 24

April 8th, 2009

It has been a medically interesting month for the Ly-Pang household. I’m even considering a medical recap post for the blog. My little medical drama began Thursday evening when I got an innocent little hankering for a snack. I decided on a croissant stuffed with a slice of warm ham, which wasn’t a wise or a healthy choice, but I was desperate and sleepy. Soon after, I could feel the heartburn set in, then nausea. I accounted both to the ham croissant. It was a terrible night as I hardly got a wink of sleep. At 6 in the morning, I got out of bed and tried, in vain, to pass my time by doing a little bit of work at the computer. Clearly, this wasn’t all that effective in my comatose and sleep deprived state. I decided that poking at Kevin was a much better solution. Really, I was attempting to rouse him from his sleeping beauty slumber. After all, misery loves company and I was truly miserable at that point. I spent an hour doing this, but with no luck and finally at 8 AM he woke up on his own.

One thing I hadn't mentioned previously regarding my lack of sleep that night was that his tossing and turning was half the reason. As he vacated the bed, I immediately jumped back in, hoping I’d now be able to get a few hours of blissful slumber. I did in fact sleep from 9 till 1 in the afternoon. Upon waking, the nausea was still with me. I began to feel achy all over. I started to suspect that last night had to do with more than just a croissant. As the afternoon wore on, I got achier and achier. Fortunately, I didn’t notice the pain to most of my body. Unfortunately, this was due to the fact that my shoulders and the back of my neck was now throbbing with pain. To give you an idea of how excruciating this pain was, let me give you an idea of how high my pain tolerance normally is. I don’t make a peep when I fall, I think bikini waxes aren’t notably painful and 2nd trimester leg cramps? I hardly wake up for them. I just stretch my leg and go right back to sleep. Friday afternoon, however, was a completely different kind of pain. It hurt like a leg cramp, but throbbed with achiness. Around 5 PM, I couldn’t deny that I was feeling warm, not scorching, but warm. I decided to take my temperature and found that I was running 100.5 Not too bad, but definitely not what you’d want while pregnant. I called the physician on call and was advised to take acetaminophen, and get plenty of fluids. I was also told that if the temperature got any higher, or the nausea turned to vomiting, I should report to labor and delivery and have lab work done. I was not a happy camper and I was too delirious to drive out and buy Tylenol. I decided that Kevin would be home soon enough and I would just try to nap until then. Little did I know that my short nap would last until 10 PM. I finally woke up because the achiness and the pain was really begin to throb with intensity and the sides of my jaw were now aching as well. I’m still not entirely sure if that had to do with the illness, or if I had been grinding my teeth while asleep and had triggered my TMJ. I took my temperature again and was now thankfully down to 100. Kevin decided to go get me Tylenol, just in case, and popsicles to try and up my fluid intake. At this point, I hadn’t eaten more than a pineapple ring since the croissant from the evening prior. I could barely even get sips of water down. The popsicles proved to be A-MAZING.

Kevin and I stayed up till midnight just trying to burn through time. He periodically massaged my shoulders and neck to relieve some of the pain. Honestly, no amount of massaging was going to get rid of the pain, but I just needed it bearable. Between midnight and 5 AM, I slept for 20-30 minutes at a time. I woke up each time the pain became severe enough to wake me up on its own. I would try to drink some water each time I woke up. Kevin was a complete dear and massaged me back to sleep every time I woke up. He also got me heat packs and cold packs in an attempt to assuage some of the pain. FINALLY, around 5 AM, I fell asleep for good. Kevin waited up until 6 AM just to make sure I was finally going to remain asleep. At 9 AM, I woke up and for the first time in 36 hours, I was hungry. Nay, I was STARVING. The fever had finally broken and I was astonishingly normal again! Never had I been as happy to be normal as I was Saturday morning. It took me 48 hours to fully recover, but I’m happy as a clam now. After all that drama and illness, I still don’t know what I had (other than the OB’s diagnosis that it was a virus).

On a happier note, Sophie is still kicking and well inside my tummy as you can see below:

Checking in with Parenting.com, we find that Baby Sophie is about 12 inches long and weighs a little over a pound. She has developed her sweet little face and her wee little ears. Apparently she can no longer do cartwheels and tumbles so we won’t be seeing her switch sides anymore. She is now more attuned to sounds outside the womb. If a loud noise disturbs her, she may be restless for hours. Apparently, it is possible to catch the sound of her heartbeat by putting your ear up to my stomach. Kevin decided to test this out today. He couldn’t catch her heartbeat, but while his ear was against my stomach, Sophie kicked him. :-)

And since we still don't have a cute fruit analogy picture from TheBump, we'll leave you with yet another creepy little photo from Parenting.com. This one is apparently supposed to show the baby's strengthening bone structure:

Yesterday, I had my monthly check-up with my OB in Newport Beach. I was informed that my next monthly check-up will be my last. From then on, I will be going in for visits bi-weekly. In the last month of pregnancy, I will be going weekly. This really is a relief for me, I’m always nervous until I hear her little heartbeat on the Doppler. Her little heartbeat is currently at 150 bpm. We went over my last ultrasound, which was generally good. My blood pressure is currently excellent and as for weight, I’m weighing in at 117. I go by the actual weight on the scale, but the doctor’s office always subtracts two pounds for clothing and shoes. We’re also excited to be scheduling another ultrasound to take place in two months. Kevin didn’t attend the last one, since it was only two weeks after our second ultrasound, but he’s excited to attend Sophie’s fourth. She’s going to be so big and cramped by then!

Baby Bump Watch – Week 23

April 1st, 2009

For all you eagle-eyed blog readers, we are indeed one day late with this post. I spent yesterday doing our taxes instead of writing up this blog post, but thankfully we’re now done.

This past week has flown by. I think my baby bump has gotten bigger, but it’s difficult for me to tell since I see it every day. It is definitely the roundest it has ever been. Baby Sophie has begun kicking up a storm! Most of the time, it’s just a soft tapping that only I can feel. However, occasionally — usually after I’ve had a pastry or my weekly allotment of caffeine — her kicks are much more intense and Kevin has been able to feel them with his hands. We like to imagine that she’s floating around in there like a little guppy.

Unfortunately, The Bump is now only updating monthly, so we won’t be seeing anymore fruit comparisons for 3-4 weeks. Luckily, I’ve tracked down a week-by-week breakdown of the average pregnancy via Parenting.com, which shows that Sophie now weighs a whole pound and measures between 11-12 inches. She’s busy kicking her feet and stretching her arms. She can even use her hands to feel her umbilical cord! Loud noises are now capable of startling her, making her heart thump and her arms flail. The creepy little photo below was also provided by Parenting.com.

In other news, we took our official tour of Hoag hospital (where I will be delivering Baby Sophie) on Sunday. The hospital was absolute perfection. We are brilliantly happy that we took the time to do our research before settling on an obstetrician and hospital. They even offer complimentary valet (free for guests too, so please take advantage of it if you come visit)! The hospital was clean, professional, and, as usual, odor free. On a previous visit, Great Grandma even commented that they don’t smell medicine-ey like other hospitals.

Hoag has streamlined the labor and delivery process by having moms pre-register prior to the big day. When I arrive at the hospital to deliver Sophie, I can skip the lines and head straight up to the fifth floor to the nurses’ station. They won’t have us fill out any more paper work until we’ve had a chance to settle into our labor, delivery and recovery room. Here's what the labor and delivery rooms look like:


We *love* the fact that there is a couch bed for Kevin in the room and that the room is fully equipped, thus enabling Sophie to stay with us the entire time. The icing on the cake is the fact that Hoag comes with free wi-fi internet access. Kevin and I are heavily dependent on the internet so this is a definite plus for us!

Two hours after delivery, we will be moved two floors up to the postpartum room where we’ll have a chance to recover for 24-48 hours and bond with Sophie. The LDR and Postpartum rooms are very similar, although the postpartum rooms are smaller and have a much more hotel aesthetic to them.

For more information, check out the photo tour on Hoag's website.

And last but not least, the biggest perks to delivering at Hoag? Filet mignon after delivery and a 75% chance of an ocean front view!

Baby Bump Watch – Week 22

March 24th, 2009

It has been an eventful week for my baby bump and me. We took Kevin to Urgent Care last Friday with what doctors thought was an appendicitis. As of now, we still don’t know what sent him there, doubled over, scaring little old ladies. We’ll be posting a detailed account of his painful day soon via a “Kevin & Linda Reports” segment. Look below for a glimpse of how big I’ve gotten:

Checking in with The Bump, Baby Sophie is now the size of a papaya. We also discovered that we had better start watching what we say — Baby Sophie is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that babies find gentle music and our own voice most soothing. Her little face is now fully formed, as you’ll soon see in sonograms below. Baby Sophie is now starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It isn’t too difficult to figure out when, she likes to kick around 5 PM everyday and sporadically throughout the day. Poor Kevin, he hasn’t been able to feel her kicks yet because she’s still pretty gentle.

As we reported last week, we had another ultrasound just yesterday. Baby Sophie was too frisky during her last ultrasound for the ultrasound tech to get comprehensive measurements of her organs. They managed to get them all this time even though she had folded herself completely in half. We watched as her little hands tried to grab on to her ankles. There was quite a bit more detail present this time around. She’s been growing and developing quite a bit during the last four weeks. Her face is fully formed, and my, my, has she got some luscious lips. You can see them on full display in the sonogram below:

For those of you who can’t make out anything more than a white blur from these sonograms, I’ve outlined her profile with little pink dots below:

We even caught a glimpse of the front of her lips and nose in the next sonogram:

I think its safe to say that Baby Sophie won’t be having any hankerings for collagen trout lips in her future.