Archives for posts with tag: family

I’ve lived in California for over 10 years and this was the first time I’ve been here for Christmas. We decided to stay because we weren’t out of the woods with the pregnancy yet, and because we just took a long vacation when we went to Italy. I had mixed feelings about it – it was nice to finally host, and not to have to travel, but I missed my sisters and the New England winter weather!

Christmas

Although J and I have run in the same circle for years, our parents have never met. We decided to get my mother and her parents together and it was really nice. I had to work on Christmas Eve, so by the time I walked in the door J had taken everyone out to lunch and they were old friends. My mom and I went to Unitarian service and J’s parents went to Catholic service, then we sat down to our feast. I made a salad with pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese and J made Spanish rice. My mom brought tamales from her neighborhood in New Mexico and made champurada, which is hot chocolate with blue corn and spices, for dessert, along with a Christmas cookie plate by yours truly. We had a delicious Christmas brunch too, complete with sticky buns made by my mom. J and I made Marcella Hazan’s homemade bolognese and bachemel lasagna for the third year in a row, a tradition we started and will keep forever. I even made a mini lasagna with vegetarian meat for myself. We had a relaxed day of opening presents, taking walks and well, for me, napping.

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We also took my mom out to a bar on Friday night! Not just any bar, but The Abby in West Hollywood, one of the allegedly best gay bars in the country! We used to hang out there, in fact, we were celebrating there the night gay marriage became legal in Cali, but in the past year we’ve been boring! My mom loved it, and she got to meet some of my fantastic friends. She had some fancy mojitos and got to watch the incredibly nimble dancers hang from the rafters.

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New Year’s Eve

We haven’t gone out on New Years for a couple of years and this wasn’t the year I would’ve thought we’d make it until midnight, but we did! I had to work all day so we couldn’t go to celebrate in San Diego. Instead, I spontaneously got us a great hotel room here in LA for the night, just to get away and enjoy an evening in a different setting (and, of course, to celebrate being off of pelvic rest!). After weeks of miserable nausea and lying around on the couch, we wanted to ring in the new year in a special environment. We went to the hotel bar when we arrived. While J had some wine, I had some… soup and seltzer. We then ordered a wood-fired pizza and ate it in the hotel room with a bottle of Prosecco and a box of chocolates. I had a few sips of bubbly but felt so guilty I couldn’t enjoy it, so went back to water. Aside from a nap around 10pm, I did make it until midnight!

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And at midnight, J got down on one knee and proposed to me again with my new engagement ring! It’s amazing. J designed it herself and it includes a diamond from her great aunt, and a tiny black diamond that was fairly-traded. If you recall, I couldn’t decide if I wanted bezel or tension set; well, my creative fiancé incorporated both! She totally nailed it; I LOVE this ring!

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I wish we could have our wedding before the baby comes, but at least we can start planning it again soon.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Giuliana and Gabriel, my niece and nephew (from different sisters), together at Christmas. I wasn’t there, which killed me, and I can’t wait to have Christmas with all three babies next year. Aren’t they adorable?

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My mom left last night after a wonderful week of sunshine and play! Los Angeles, from my perspective, is at its best when I’m showing guests around. Our first day we went to Korean BBQ and the Koreatown Galleria, then downtown to Olvera Street, a Mexican market (hey it’s not San Diego, but it’s okay). On Tuesday we headed west to Santa Monica pier where we had burgers and fries, then hung out in Venice on the boardwalk, where cannabis wafted around my head along with visions of Jim Morrison. My mom loved Venice; the architecture, the spread-out beach, the Rasta guys smiling everywhere.

Mom and I on Venice Beach

Mom and I on Venice Beach

Back at home I made Thai green curry with red sticky rice and my friend came over to meet my mom. I’m perfecting my Thai cooking slowly, and with the addition of some secret ingredients, it’s getting better! I hear warm anti-inflammatory food is great for the fetus, so bring it on! Wednesday we headed back to Point Dume in Malibu – I had to share the gorgeous blue and green water, the sand dune hike, and the quiet, rocky beach with my mom. She loves hiking and spends much of her free time trekking around New Mexico, climbing mesas and camping with her other free-spirited retirement friends. She’s a great person to hike with and loves the beach!

Hiking trails over secluded beach

Hiking trails over secluded beach


You can see seals on the rocks and sometimes dolphin fins in the water.

You can see seals on the rocks and sometimes dolphin fins in the water.

Yesterday, J took the afternoon off to galavant around Hollywood with us. We drove to Griffith Park Observatory to get some amazing pics of the Hollywood sign and sweeping views of the urban sprawl, then descended to the ridiculousness that is Hollywood Boulevard. When we first moved here a year ago, I couldn’t believe that Hollywood was right up the street. Not that I’d ever cared about Hollywood before, but just driving through it was a thrill beyond what I’d expected; there’s something exciting about seeing Michael Jackson’s sidewalk star and being followed around by Darth Vader!

Yesterday morning my mom, J and I somehow exited the house with our coffee at 7am and headed to the clinic. It was nice to show my mom where the magic happened and have her be there for my final beta. I haven’t been having many pregnancy symptoms – my boobs are still sore, like even walking through the house hurts, and I’ve been a little dizzy and breathless, but that’s it. I told this to our bloodwork nurse, who assured me I may develop morning sickness soon and that when she was pregnant, she’d be in the middle of sticking a patient with a needle and would have to run away and puke. Great. With my new job starting next week, I’m super nervous about this! I was also nervous about the numbers going down. I imagined what it would be like for the nurse to call later in the day and say she was sorry, but I was probably miscarrying. I just wanted to be prepared for anything.

While we were eating with the tourists in Hollywood, the phone rang. My IVF coordinator relayed the numbers – beta was up to 5,250! Back at the table, my mom says she’ll finally allow herself to be happy for us (she’s very cautious due to family history of miscarriages) and J is excited. I felt a warm glow for the rest of the day. J is still worried about twins but we’ve started joking about it. “Better feed the twins,” she says, and “I better get ready to feed a family of four.” I would love to have twins once they’re out of my belly, but carrying them, keeping them healthy, and delivering them safely terrifies me.

I gave my beta news to my sisters, who are both new moms, and they both were happy but informed me that they started morning sickness at 6 weeks. It was BAD. Six weeks will be my first week at a new office, the most important job I’ve ever had. I’ll be armed with crackers, seltzer, ginger tea, and Preggie Pops, but still scared.

Our first ultrasound is next Saturday, June 28th! Oh my gosh that’s going to change everything, my whole life…

My mom and I many years ago.

My mom and I many years ago.